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After School Programs

By Jodie Lynn


School will be starting soon and I finally found a job. My two kids will be going to an after school program. However, there is not a health professional on hand during these hours should there be any kind of an accident. If something does happen, is the school responsible for getting medical attention for the kids and perhaps the impending bills?


Having worked in schools and childcare settings for many years, here is how it works. No, there is no “medical” professional on staff in any child care or after school program. The staff is first aid and CPR trained. They call 911 in a true emergency. If your child is hurt or sick in a non-emergency situation, you will be called to pick them up or designate someone to pick them up. Just like in school, your personal medical insurance pays for all medical care for your children. Schools, day cares, and after school child care programs do not pay for medical treatment. By the way, if your children are attending a program in the school building, usually called Latch Key, it is typically run by the YMCA and not the school. - M.H. in O’Fallon, MO

Our children go to an after school program in a private school. The school nurse stays for almost the whole time. There are also a couple of assistants. Although they are not affiliated with a professional medical/health background, they have been certified in CPR and certainly know our school's guidelines for contacting an ambulance, the parents or whomever is shown on the emergency form contact list, should an emergency occur. We also provide the parents a booklet outlining what takes place should a child need medical attention. - Ashley Thomas in Fort Lauderdale, FL


Depending on what type of after school program your children will be attending, almost all have plans in place to handle various types of emergencies including natural disasters pertaining to the building itself. Some of these programs are contracted by the school with an outside entity and will have their own rules and guidelines. Others will be negotiated between the school, usually decided and voted on via the school board, and the outside business. On some occasions, teachers from the school district, or perhaps even your child's own school, will teach an enrichment class, thus, the after school program will be mandated and supervised by all educational professionals. Whatever scenario the school is offering, there should be some type of manual or booklet with specific instructions and plans covering the activities offered, rules and guidelines for both the parents and the attending personnel. Ask for a copy of both. It's also a good idea to remind the after school staff of any allergies that your kids may have. This way, should something come up, it can be dealt with more easily.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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