While many parents enroll their children into preschool before it is time for them to enter elementary school, many parents stop all extra schooling for their children once they enter kindergarten or first grade. They often opt to have a neighbor or family member watch their children before and/or after school.  Instead of having a sitter come supervise your child while he or she watches cartoons, opt for before and/or after school child care for the following reasons.

1. Grade-school Years Are Prime-time for Absorbing Information

According to the critical period hypothesis, young children absorb and learn information such as a second language, much more easily and naturally than older children and adults. While your child does learn during the school day, any parent would be really missing out on this prime-time for learning by leaving education behind when the school day ends.

While a sitter may go over school work and other information with your child, enrolling your child in a good before and after school child care facility can help your child learn more during this time when you are away. Taking advantage of this period in your child’s life of learning can help set them up at the head of the class during middle and high school.

2. Interaction with Other Children is Best when Learning Social Skills

While your child may learn some basic social skills in grade school, if you think back to your years in school, you can remember how being quiet and keeping to yourself while learning was praised. It is only natural for grade-school teachers to discourage talking and playing outside of recess hours, as they want children paying attention to the lessons instead of socializing with friends.

For this reason, your child may not be learning social skills as well as you think during regular school hours. Before and after school childcare gives your child time they can interact with their peers and really learn critical social skills they may never learn anywhere else.

3. Before and After School Child Care Often Costs the Same as Hiring a Sitter

Even if you know that learning more every day outside of the classroom will help your child immensely later in life, then one thing that may be holding you back is the belief that you don’t think you can afford to send your child to one of these schools. If you are already hiring a sitter to watch your child before and after school, then you may be surprised to find that before and after school child care does not cost much, if at all, more every month.

You may even find out that a government program helps cover the cost of this child care, so you may even end up saving money while giving your child a great head-start in life.

Children today need to learn more than they do inside the walls of grade school to succeed in life. Give your child the best chance of a successful career and social life later by embracing extra learning opportunities for them, such as before and after school child care, now.