Commitment to Quality in School-Age Programs
2 hours (0.2 CEUs)
School-age child care programs were prevalent during World War II. Many mothers worked outside the home to support the war effort and needed care for their children. When the war ended, school-age childcare programs disappeared almost overnight as mother chose to stay at home. School-age programs emerged again in the late 1960s in response to the vast numbers of mothers across the nation who were re-entering the workforce. National surveys in the 1970s indicated that at least two-thirds of mothers with school-age children were again employed outside the home. The divorce rate was increasing, as well as the number of households headed by a single parent. As a result, many elementary school children spent hours alone from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM when school was out. Clearly, there was a growing need for out-of-school support services for school-age children. In the 1970s, programs were commonly known as school-age childcare or extended day programs. Those establishing programs gave their attention to increasing the availability and affordability of after-school services for working parents. By the mid 1970s, childcare advocates also emphasized the importance of providing quality programs. Childcare advocates, parents, educators, public policy experts, and representatives from a wide variety of childcare and community organizations began a national dialogue to explore and identify the components of quality school-age childcare services. Today, national, state, and local organizations are working to educate the public about quality school-age childcare services and to assist school-age childcare professionals achieve quality programming in their communities. It is essential for today’s school-age professionals to be aware of the national and state organizations, research, and practices that focus on the development of quality school-age childcare programs. This makes it possible for school-age professionals to learn about the dimensions of quality programs and to participate in the important process of continuous improvement of their own programs.
Content Area VI: Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
V: Historical & Contemporary Development of Early Childhood Education