School Age Child Care Essay Research Paper

School Age Child Care Essay, Research Paper

Implementing a School Age Child Care (SACC) Program

Graduate Department of Education

Identification of the problem

According to the Florida Educational Research Council,

in 1955, 60% of all households were traditional type families

(Davies,Topping & Koon, 1989). While dad was at work, mom

was at home cooking and cleaning for the family. Today less

than 7% of all households fit this pattern. The need for

child care, and specifically, School Age Child Care (SACC) is

a fact of life today. There is hard evidence that supports

this need. Seventy percent of the working age women are

employed in the work force today (Davies et al., 1989).

XXXXX Community Elementary School is comprised of 1500

students. XXXX is situated among affluent communities of

Boca Raton. There are a number of private day cares that

transport 100 students to their centers for supervision

during after school hours. Presently, however, there is an

unknown number of students that also require supervision

during after school hours but are not receiving it. Because

there is no program available at XXXX Elementary School,

these children are part of the 4 million “latchkey” children

in the United States today (Davies et al., 1989). Latchkey

children sometimes wear a key around their neck and always go

home to an empty house. My job as principal begins here as I

address the problem of “latchkey” students at my school. I

must research the situation, and provide a solution that will

meet the needs of the school and community. By researching

present child care information, seeking input from my staff,

checking with the business community, and conducting a parent

need assessment survey, I can begin to address this problem.

Before contacting parents, a review of the current

literature available on School Age Child Care is the first

step necessary to make a decision regarding child care

services at XXXX Community Elementary School. Because

gathering this information is time consuming, a fact finding

committee, headed by one of the two Assistant Principals, was

formed in January, 1991 to expedite this review and a summary

of its findings follows. According to Pamela Mason of the

Florida Department of Education (1991), there are 912,000

school age children who need child care. Private centers

accommodate 460,000, public schools provide for 80,000, but

there are still 364,000 children under twelve without

supervision during the after school hours in Florida. Child

care shortages negatively affect children. Aside from low

academic achievement, latchkey children seem to be more

fearful than other children. Their outdoor playtime and

social relationships are severely restricted. Self-care

children appear to be at risk and are more likely to be

victims of accidents, which are a leading cause of death

among children (Seligson, Genser, Gannett, & Gray, 1983). At

this point it appears that School Age Child Care is a valid

concern for parents of the students at Verde Elementary

School. A meeting to involve the faculty and further study

of the situation is necessary and is scheduled for February,


At the faculty meeting the principal suggests the

prospect of providing child care services for the school and/

or community. The principal realizes it is necessary to get

the support of the faculty and staff if the program is to be

successful. Some of the items on the agenda include:

1. initial parental concern for latchkey students

2. discussion of the pros and cons as seen by the


3. review of the initial committee’s findings

4. need for further investigation by additional


At the conclusion of the faculty meeting, 4 additional six

member committees have been formed. Each committee will have

one chairperson, appointed by the principal, who will be

responsible for maintaining cohesiveness and reporting the

findings of the committee. Each committee will meet weekly

and report its findings to the faculty and principal at the

end of six weeks. The function of the five committees will

be as follows:

Committee #1 – Fact Finding

This committee will continue to review the current child care

policies using the professional library for assistance. The

committee will continue to research Palm Beach County’s

guidelines for establishing a School Age Child Care program

within a school and share the findings with the other


Committee #2 – Parent Survey

This committee will meet with the school’s Parent Association

and enlist its assistance so that an exact number of children

requiring child care services is ascertained. The parents of

the 1500 students at Verde as well as parents of children

living in the community and using private schools must be


Committee #3 – Staff Survey

The committee will create an awareness of the impact that a

child care program will have on the school environment and

the school plant. Teachers will be aware that classrooms

will need to be used to house the children during the after

school program. Since the facility does allow for teacher

planning areas, teachers should be willing to use it for the

semester while the SACC program is using their room.

Committee members will poll teachers for their input and

concerns. Discussion of certain characteristics displayed by

latchkey students as indicated by the fact finding committee

will be focused upon.

Committee #4 – Business Community

The business community must be considered because of the

impact that latchkey children under twelve have on their

businesses. Financial support will be sought from these

businesses making them partners in the child care/education


Committee #5 – Cost Effectiveness

In order for a School Age Child Care program to be run, it

must be self supporting. By looking at existing programs in

Palm Beach and surrounding counties feasibility of this

prospect can be determined. This committee will look at all

options available including “contracting” this service to

another organization such as the YMCA. It must be noted that

the need of the parents must be met both financially and

with the hours of operation. Teachers have emphasized their

concern of losing federal dollars to support yet another


The principal will delegate each committee chairperson report

to one of the two Assistant Principals who will then keep the

committee’s findings updated.

At the March 15, 1991 faculty meeting, the results of

the committees findings are discussed. In polling the

community, it has been determined that 500 students will

require supervision. 5% will be from other schools within

the community. Committee members noted that parents felt

encouraged by the school’s attempt to find a solution to the

child care shortage problem. They also felt they could

manage for the last three months of the school year and

looked forward to working together for the upcoming school


The business community was in favor of a partnership

with the school center due to the high cost of vandalism and

theft committed by latchkey students in the fourth and fifth

grades and would contribute various services.

The cost-effectiveness committee determined that a

program that would support itself was not only possible, but

could be operated at a low hourly charge of $1. This would

meet the financial needs of parents in the community and be

lower than any existing child care service in the area.

Operating the program until 6:00 p.m. will further meet the

needs of parents in the community.

The principal meets with the fact-finding committee as a

follow up to the previous committee’s recommendations. The

principal instructs the committee to identify three schools

in the county with similar needs and facility. The principal

delegates one or more committee members will observe these

schools to help determine the hours of operation, the charge

to parents, and the type program that will be run at XXXX

for the 1991/92 school year.

The principal then begins the task of establishing

a School Age Child Care program to be operational August 26,

1991. Everything to meet the program needs must be purchased

prior to August. An Assistant principal will contact the

school board to get start up funds for the program if any is

available. Due to the input from the staff regarding the low

academic achievement of latchkey students, the program will

be academically structured for its initial year. In order to

meet the ratio requirements as determined by the fact-finding

committee, the principal will be required to hire 25 School

Age Child Care workers, one office assistant, one director,

and one homework tutor. All positions will be advertised and

will meet school board requirements. Appointment to the

position of director and assistant director will be made by

July 1, 1991. Job descriptions will be given to these people

as well as kept on file in the office. The duties of these

people will be as follows:


The director will plan and implement the framework of the

program which includes the scheduling of all activities,

outdoor games, and playing field use. The director will also

keep a file on each student in the program with a completed

registration form and emergency phone numbers. The director

will meet with the Assistant Principal on a weekly basis.

For at least the first three months the director will discuss

any and all decisions regarding the program with the

Assistant Principal, including the use of classrooms as

meeting places for groups of students. After that time, if

it has been determined that the director’s goals are in line

with the school’s, more latitude will be given in decision

making areas.

Assistant Director

This person will assist the director in any capacity as

deemed necessary by the director and assistant principal.

All monies due the program will be collected by this person

and recorded appropriately.

SACC Workers

Both SACC I and SACC II workers will follow duties as

indicated in the job descriptions for instructional and

teacher aides.

The principal will assign one of the two assistant principals

to assist with the SACC program. The fact-finding committee

will remain operational during the 1991/92 school year and

will meet again after three months to discuss further needs

and assess the program. They will look into some of the

concerns that were addressed earlier such as how the staff

has been affected by the school’s decision to offer child

care services; how the process of these changes has affected

the children, noting any improvements in children’s work or



rogram which includes the scheduling of all activities,

outdoor games, and playing field use. The director will also

keep a fil