Every year, millions of children head home after school to an empty house because school clubs/sport programs have been cut, after-school supervision is expensive, or the children are at an age where parents feel they are capable of being home alone for a few hours. If you have a “Latchkey” kid, you’re certainly not alone.
After-school care is a multi-billion-dollar industry, however more than a quarter of America’s school children (15.1 million) are on their own after the school day ends. Despite growing awareness that children are at particular risk during these afternoon hours, the number and percentage of children left on their own in the afternoons has actually increased in the last five years.
If after-school care is not an option for your family, or you feel your child is old enough and responsible enough to be home alone, rather than allowing your child to set his or her own after-school schedule you should take advantage of the opportunity to create a teachable moment.
Parents can easily build their own after-school programs for their children by following the guidelines below. Besides children benefiting from the “teachable moments”, the experience will also start them down the path of developing into a responsible young adult. Here are some suggestions on how to start your program:
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