For many children, the after-school program is an important part of their day and the people who work there have a significant impact on the lives. From the end of the school day until parents pick up participants, after-school programs provide structured activities and help with homework. The after -school program director sets a vision for the program and oversees the staff who deliver services to the children.
The after-school program director recruits, trains and hires staff. She communicates with nearby schools to connect with parents of children who need the services of the after-school program. She ensures the quality of the programs offered. She also ensures a safe environment by following all applicable laws.
After-school program directors work in the afternoons and evenings. A typical schedule is noon to 8 pm Monday through Friday during the school year. Some after-school programs also provide a full day of activities for children on days that school is not in session, including the summer.
An after-school program director should have a bachelor's degree in child development, elementary education or a related field. The program director should have extensive experience working with children, preferably as a teacher.
The New York State Afterschool Network provides a self-assessment tool for ongoing program improvement. According to the tool, a quality program director is committed to his own professional development and the professional development of his staff. He attends training events and provides ongoing staff development to his employees. He also ensures employees have competence in core academic areas and know how to plan age appropriate activities.
An after-school program director must be able to work independently and set a good example to the children and youth who participate in the program. In a job description posted by the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the after-school program director is asked to have qualities such as "Common sense, Clean background, Trustworthy, Hardworking, Flexible, High energy, Multi tasker, Cool under pressure, Follows direction, Strong Communicator - both written and verbal, [and] Professionalism."
Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not keep separate statistics on after-school program directors, but the position is similar to other administrators of preschools and child care centers. In 2008 they averaged $39,940 per year. These positions are expected to grow about eight percent by 2018, which is an average rate of growth.
- Photo Credit playing children image by Marzanna Syncerz from Fotolia.com
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