Beyond The School Day

We know that quality early childhood care and education positively affects child growth, development and school readiness.Did you know that high quality learning experiences are also important for school agers, both in school and beyond the school day?

Research shows that children and youth participating in after school programs experience positive outcomes in all areas of development and have a decrease in high-risk behaviors. However, programs must be high quality in order for children and youth to benefit (Indiana Afterschool Alliance). Indiana is responding to this need for quality school age care since most child care providers serve school age children.

  • Approximately  80.6% of the providers in ECA’s database serve school agers
  • Approximately  76.4% of all Indiana providers serve school agers

(Data provided by NACCRRA Data Services)

Within the last couple of years, School Age (SA) Specialists were hired by three agencies contracted by Indiana Association of Child Care Resource and Referral (IACCRR) with the goal of increasing the quality of school age child care programs. The SA Specialists are currently working with IACCRR and other leading state and national youthprofessionals to collect, develop and share resources and trainings with the child care providers and stakeholders in their service areas.

Are you a child care provider working with school agers?  Do you need help with creating a program to engage your school age kids?  If the answer is yes, then schedule an onsite technical assistance visit with our School-Age Specialist. Together, you will customize a diverse and dynamic program that’ll keep your school-agers engaged and wanting more.



Karin Gilbert is ECA’s School-Age Specialist, serving Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, St. Joseph, Steuben, and Whitley Counties.  Karin has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University-South Bend and an Indiana Youth Development Credential.  She has 16 years of experience in school-age youth work.  Karin provides support for providers of SA programs to increase the quality of SA care.

You can contact Karin at 574-360-3070 or