7 Tips for a Smooth Transition into Before and After School Programs - Blog - PLASP
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7 Tips for a Smooth Transition into Before and After School Programs

As a new school year approaches, parents are gearing up for the transition back into the hustle and bustle of busy mornings and afternoons. One way to make this transition smoother is by enrolling your child in a PLASP before and after school program. Not only do our programs provide a safe and supervised environment for your child, but they also offer a variety of engaging and meaningful learning experiences.

A young girl stands in front of an easel holding a paintbrush outside at a PLASP program

What are Before and After School Programs?
PLASP before and after school programs are designed to provide a safe and supervised environment for children before and after school hours. These programs offer a variety of activities that may include sensory, art, communication, language, literacy, construction, block, science, cognitive, physical and outdoor activities. PLASP before and after school programs are offered in schools and for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old.

A group of children in a PLASP program build a structure together

Benefits of Before and After School Programs
Before and after school programs provide a variety of benefits for both children and parents. For children, these programs offer a safe and supervised environment where they can socialize with peers, engage in physical activity, and receive homework assistance. For parents, these programs provide a convenient solution to childcare while they are at work. Before and after school programs can also help children develop important life skills such as time management, responsibility, and teamwork.

Children and educators play with a multi-coloured parachute outside at a PLASP program

Challenges Faced During the Transition to Before and After School Programs
As with any transition, the move to a before and after school program can be challenging for both children and parents. Children may struggle with waking up earlier in the morning, adjusting to a new schedule or environment, and making new friends.

A group of children dressed in snow gear stand around the snowman they built at a PLASP program

7 Tips for a Smooth Transition

  1. Communicate With Your Child. Start by having an open and honest conversation with your child about the upcoming changes. Encourage them to ask questions and express their concerns.
  2. Establish a Routine. Establishing a routine is crucial when transitioning to a before and after school program. This can include setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, as well as a regular schedule for meals and homework. By establishing a routine, children will feel more secure and be better prepared for the transition.
  3. Get Involved with the Program. Getting involved with the before and after school program can help ease the transition for both children and parents. Attend any orientation sessions or parent-teacher meetings to learn more about the program and meet the staff. Consider attending events to get to know other parents and children.
  4. Communicate with the Program Staff. You are the expert of your child and you know them best! Open communication with program staff is essential for a smooth transition. Let the staff know about any concerns or special needs your child may have. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the program's policies and procedures to ensure that you and your child are fully informed.
  5. Make Connections with Other Parents and Students. Making connections with other parents and students can help your child feel more comfortable in the program. Consider organizing playdates or attending events together to help your child make new friends. Connecting with other parents can also provide a support system and help you stay informed about program events and activities.
  6. Be Patient and Understanding. It's important to be patient and understanding during the transition to a before and after school program. Children may need time to adjust to a new routine and environment, and it's important to give them the space and support they need during this time.
  7. Spend Quality Time Together. Work and life responsibilities are endless! Many parents are worried they do not spend enough time with their children with such a long day apart. Research has shown that children need high-quality time with parents and caregivers, rather than quantity of time spent together. Try some of the following:
  • Spend one-on-one time to connect with each other during any part of your routine and ask them about their day, their thoughts or feelings.
  • Create a special ritual for you and your child that you both enjoy, such as reading a book or cooking together – this could be short and simple.
  • Have a tech-free hour.
  • Reinforce positive behaviour. Children’s self-esteem and self-worth is higher when we share with them the positivity we see in them.
  • Give your child leadership opportunities. For example, setting up the dinner table, carrying groceries, leading the way in the park, and more!
  • Express love and gratitude everyday. This could be writing a special note in their lunch box, expressing physical/verbal affection, sharing bedtime/morning affirmations, or having a daily gratitude exchange.

Interested in having your child join a PLASP before and/or after school program for the 2023/2024 school year? Learn more.

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