There’s a great need for quality after school programs for elementary-aged kids because so many of their parents work full time. Kids need a safe place to go after school where they can get their homework done, interact with other kids their age, and be supervised by qualified staff until their caregivers can pick them up.

Starting an after school program involves several steps, some of which may not be necessary depending on the type of program you’re developing.

Determine the Type of Program You’re Offering

Before you begin gathering materials and hiring staff, you need to have a proper business plan in place. Develop a mission that you want to achieve with your after school program. Is it a place for free-play and social interaction, or more of a structured environment where kids continue their school day? Once you’ve determined the type of program you’re offering, you can start putting the pieces together.

Find a Location and Design it

Are you holding your after school program at a private residence or in a commercial space? Different locations have different requirements in order to operate, including paying rent and getting certain permits or approvals. The location should be convenient and close to schools. Once you find a space, you can design it the way you’d like.

Hire Staff and Develop a Curriculum

Qualified staff is an important part of running a successful after school program. They should have experience working with children and preferably a background in education. If you can hire current and former teachers, you can ask for their input in developing a curriculum for your after school attendees. The curriculum can involve everything from STEM activities to arts and crafts.

Promote Your Program

Now that you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to recruit attendees to your after school program. You can do this by advertising in print and online or by word-of-mouth. Offer incentives for signing up and to your longtime customers. Establishing a good rapport with clients is key to a successful business.

Maintain safety at all times and continue reviewing your program to ensure its meeting standards. Happy, healthy kids are the ultimate goal!