Benefits of Stepping Stones
“My child loves Stepping Stones. She finishes her homework before I get there, so we don’t have to worry about it. They do lots of fun activities that she talks about all the time.”
– Parent of a Stepping Stones Child
Enrolling your child in Stepping Stones brings many benefits to your child and your family. First off, there is the peace of mind felt by parents and guardians, knowing that their child is in a safe environment surrounded by a professional staff. But there are other benefits as well. Did you know that research shows quality, school age “afterschool” or “out of school time” programs like Stepping Stones contribute to the overall health and well-being of school age youth?
Quality, affordable after school programs are…
…a social issue:
- Young people who are under adult supervision, in programs or at home, have better social skills and higher self-esteem than their peers who are unsupervised after school.
- Youth who attend high-quality out-of-school time programs have been found to have better peer relationships, emotional adjustment, grades, and conduct in school.
…a workforce issue:
- The gap between work and school schedules amounts to as much as 25 hours per week, which presents working parents with the challenge of finding someone to care for their children while they are at work.
- Eighty-seven percent of working mothers say the hours after school are when they are most concerned about their children’s safety. This “after school stress” can lead to distractions that causes lower productivity, high turnover, and absenteeism for working mothers and fathers.
…an economic issue:
- Unscheduled absenteeism in 2004 cost businesses nationally an average of $610 per employee. Nearly one-quarter of all unscheduled absences is due to family issues, which include child care breakdowns.
…an education issue:
- Teachers and principals report that students become more cooperative, learn to better handle conflicts, develop an interest in recreational reading, and receive better grades due to participation in quality after school programs.
…a safety issue:
- The US has more than 15.1 million children now left alone at home each day after the school day ends.
- The juvenile crime rate triples between the hours of 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. and young people are most likely to be victims of a violent crime committed by a non-family member during these same hours.
…a health issue:
- Young people who spend one to four hours per week in extracurricular activities are 49% less likely to use drugs and 37% less likely to become teen parents than students who do not participate in extracurricular activities.
- Youth who attend OST programs spend more time in learning opportunities, academic and enrichment activities, and spend less time watching television than their peers.