Today’s children need different competences for the society of the future. After-school care provides an important contribution to the development of these competences. Big Ben Kids explains.

A new professional competence profileIn 2013, the Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR) stated that education and childcare must undergo a qualitative shift to train future employees. The childcare sector is an enterprising (young) sector, and recent years have seen the development of a new professional competence profile for childcare practitioners while the qualification specification (teaching material and examination requirements) have been adapted.

Shadow educationChildren are entitled to 940 teaching hours per year, but ambitions continue to grow and tasks increase. After-school care offers the solution. Children need extra attention outside of school. For children whose parents can afford it, there is a growing “shadow education” which offers extra lessons, homework supervision, remedial teaching, and help in developing executive skills (learning to plan and organise), as well as musical, sporting and other talent-developing activities.

After-school care is good for children’s development. When children are at home after school, without the extra attention they need, their development is less successful.

A good balanceMoreover, after-school care offers activities that are not focused on performance. Instead, the focus is on playing together and doing things. It is a place where children make friends, meet children of different ages and develop in a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. Children play outside a lot, discovering talents through materials and activities, and older children are given the right challenges. Children are supported in finding a good balance between planned organised activities, free time and, when appropriate, homework.

After-school care is more than just the (logistical) care of your childThe afternoons at an after-school care service or facility are mostly characterised by inspiration, challenge and diversity.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the specific areas of literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressing themselves through art and design. Children of primary school age develop best in a safe environment where they are given the space and are challenged to be able to do, experiment and make decisions for themselves. In this developmental phase, children learn to take responsibility for themselves and their environment, for the group and their surroundings.

This cooperative way of learning enhances the children’s involvement and has a positive influence on their learning performance, personality development and social and emotional development.

Of course, in after-school care, the children are offered fun and challenging leisure time. A lot of attention is paid to their social-emotional development – development they will profit from throughout their whole lives. By working together on projects, they not only learn to work together, but also to playfully organise and plan goal-oriented to achieve a result together.

Important manifestoIn 2019, Brancheorganisatie Kinderopvang, Branchorganisatie Maatschappelijke Kinderopvang and BOinK jointly wrote the manifesto “Anchor the unique expertise of childcare.” In it, they emphasise that childcare is good for the development of young children (aged zero to six), makes an important contribution to the broad talent development of older children (aged six to 12) and offers valuable support (and services) to parents. The manifesto makes a plea for greater use of the unique expertise of childcare. It also underlines the importance of education and childcare in acknowledging each other’s expertise.

Do you want to know more about the approach of Big Ben Kids? Do you want to know what the possibilities are for your child? Book a tour now or contact Team Big Ben Kids via +31 (0) 70 2192570 or [email protected].

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