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The Benefits of Attending a PLASP Before and/or After School Program
While there are still a few weeks left of summer to enjoy, many families are planning ahead for a return to school in September. Those plans could include their child attending a structured, high-quality before and after school program, such as those offered by PLASP, which includes many health benefits for children.
Here are several ways children can benefit from engaging in before and after school care:
Create a sense of belonging. Before and after school programs are a great way for your child to make new friends of different ages from different classes to connect with peers in a play-based setting. Enthusiastic PLASP educators plan activities based on the children’s interests and strive to create a friendly, welcoming environment with fun-filled learning opportunities that connect children to others within their community. Older children are provided leadership opportunities while playing with and mentoring younger children.
Encourage physical activity. According to the Government of Canada website, regular physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development. A before and/or after school program encourages physical activity, which promotes optimal happiness and health for children, while preventing obesity, excess weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and much more. Children chose from a variety of activities and equipment chosen by educators based on the children’s’ interests. PLASP educators understand and promote the importance of lifelong physical literacy, and children learn new skills while having fun with friends.
Provide daily nutritious snacks. PLASP before school programs provide children with a nutritious breakfast, served daily. PLASP after school programs provide a daily nutritious afternoon snack, which can include whole wheat crackers, salad bar (romaine lettuce, chick peas, pickles, parmesan cheese, salad dressing and water). For more on healthy snacks offered at PLASP.
Improve social skills and builds relationships. PLASP programs are committed to fostering each child’s self-esteem and feeling of self-worth and value through positive caregiving, and stimulating activities that will promote a sense of belonging, well-being, engagement and expression. It also exposes them to peers and other personalities, which can lead to understanding the needs of others and building tolerance and confidence through playing with peers including joining a game or starting a conversation. In addition, educators can provide feedback and build skills to help children practice their social skills, like cooperation and the importance of taking turns.
Introduces children to a variety of activities. While it’s less likely a child might discover a new hobby or activity without the encouragement of a trusted adult or educator, PLASP programs offer daily opportunities for children to engage in sensory/art including drama, music, dance and visual arts; language and listening; science and cognitive development; construction and block design; and physical activity and active outdoor play. Click here to check out past PLASP blogs featuring fun and engaging activities.
Provide the time and space to complete homework. PLASP programs are run by trained Early Childhood Educators, and other qualified staff, who are focused on teaching and ensuring the best for a child’s healthy development – whether as a kindergarten child or as an older child. An after school program can be very helpful for children who can’t get to their homework until later. In addition, getting homework completed after school can make everyone’s evening more pleasant.
Offer safety and peace of mind. Structured, enriching before and after school programs, like those offered by PLASP, not only come with built-in adult supervision, but are often offered in a school-like setting where strangers can not easily enter and children are not wandering in their neighbourhood or feeling lonely at home. When it comes to older children keeping them busy can redirect them from engaging in risky behaviour. In fact, studies show that children in after school programs may achieve higher grades and may also experience fewer behavioural problems.
PLASP Child Care Services
If you’re interested in having your child join a PLASP before and/or after school program for the 2022/2023 school year, click here for full details.