How Do You Start an Afterschool Center?

How Do You Start an Afterschool Center?

To start an afterschool center, assess the supply and demand in your community, develop partnerships and find funding, meet state regulations, and develop high-quality activities. Research the legal and liability requirements of the program. Consider the staffing needs of the program and ensure you address the safety, nutritional and health needs of the children.

Before starting an afterschool program, talk to local community leaders, school officials and parents to determine if there is a need for the program. Consider your target area, how many children are involved and whether there is another afterschool program in the area.

Create a budget and determine the source of funds for the afterschool program to ensure long-term sustainability. Parents may be willing to chip in and you may also get in-kind donations. Talk to foundations that serve the youth or the arts and approach civic groups and local businesses for support.

Different states have different regulations and licensing requirements for afterschool programs. The age of the children in the program and whether it is school-run or church-run may affect the requirements.

Look for professionals, paraprofessionals and volunteers to work in the afterschool program. Employ well-trained staff who contribute to the children's social, intellectual and emotional development.