Can After-School Programs Help Keep Your Kids Safe?

You’ve reached a turning point. Your kids are too old for daycare or a babysitter, but you’re not completely comfortable with leaving them on their own after school until you get home from work. What can you do to make sure they’re staying safe while spending several hours a day alone?

One option is to look for after-school programs in your area. A good after-school program can make a tremendous difference in a young person’s life. According to research from the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, children who don’t attend after-school programs are 49% more likely to have used drugs and 37% percent more likely to become teen parents. In addition, children are at a higher risk of becoming victims of violence when they don’t have any supervised place to spend time after school.

What to look for in an after-school program

These programs not only provide a safe, supervised environment for your kids, they also offer the opportunity to learn new skills, hone academic skills, and meet new friends. When looking for a program for your children, there are a number of issues to consider, including:

With a little legwork, you can find an after-school program that will not only make your kids’ afternoons safer, it will also be a place they enjoy spending time.

Tips to Make Being a Single Parent Easier

Ask any parent. Raising kids is hard work. And it can be an even tougher job if you’re raising your kids without a partner. There are more than 20 million children in the U.S. growing up in homes headed by a single parent, according to the most recent U.S. Census. As a single parent, you probably find yourself pulled in many different directions—caring for your children, working to support your family, handling household chores like laundry and grocery shopping, helping with homework, making sure you have adequate childcare coverage.

Having all those responsibilities on your plate can create stress for both you and your children, and that can have a negative effect on your family’s physical and mental wellbeing over time. There are ways you can lower your stress levels. The key is to find the ones that work best for your family.

More than anything, you’ll lower your family’s stress level by making a little time every day just to relax together and enjoy each other’s company, whether you’re reading a story, talking about what you did today, or taking a walk together.