Prairie Creek offers an after-school care program we call Extended Day. It runs from the time school is dismissed at 2:30 pm until a parent or guardian picks up the student any time before 5:45 pm, and takes place right at school.
Kids who participate in Extended Day enjoy being a part of this group, and look forward to the relaxed atmosphere and freedoms that come at the end of their regular school day. They tend to enjoy the activities we offer, and the additional chance to socialize with friends. Extended Day is a time for students of various ages to mix it up with their schoolmates, to make new pals outside their particular classrooms, and sometimes to be by themselves quietly doing their own thing after a hectic day. For the most part Prairie Creekers get along well, and those in Extended Day gain from the opportunity to nurture very close, harmonious relationships across grade levels.
On a typical day, as school lets out the children who’ve signed up for Extended Day gather in the gym to be counted. Once we’re sure that everyone’s together and in the right place, the school buses leave Prairie Creek and the fun starts. We have a quick check-in during which staff goes over plans for the afternoon, checks in on other business (sledding rules, woods play rules, appropriate apparel, that sort of thing) and gives the kids a chance to share. They may want to share about a field trip from earlier that day or put in a request for snack time, for instance—all of which binds the group that day together in conversation and helps to acquaint new kids with the established group.
Then we go outside. This happens every day, with exceptions only in extreme weather. After an hour or so of outdoor play we come in for a snack. This tends to be healthy offerings—a protein, trail-mix with a little chocolate and raisins for sweet-tooth cravings, fruit, crackers, and lots of water. Some children bring a snack from home, but most enjoy helping to fix, serve, and eat whatever’s offered that day.
After snack the group disperses in different directions. Some kids play in the gym. If the weather’s nice, many head right back outside. Those in need of a rest from the physical activity gravitate toward the crazy crafts, beading, painting, or other projects they come up with on their own. Time flies and soon parents and guardians arrive to collect their kids.
Staff and Safety
Extended Day personnel as a rule consists of two school staff and two local high schoolers who work after their own school day and tend to be Prairie Creek alums. The staff-to-student ratio runs 10:1 at a maximum. Our high-school staff offer a special kind of fun for the kids: they get down and play hard with our students, and while they know all the rules and are there to enforce them, these special young people also have the ability to guide play in unique and energetic ways. Safety is a highest priority at our Extended Day program. Kids have a good time, and all the while they’re supervised by our trained staff who engage with them in appropriate, safe, and ultimately creative play.
As parents and guardians arrive to pick up the children, they greet a staff person and register on a sign-out sheet. No student is allowed to leave the program with anyone other than a designated adult.
Late-Start on Wednesdays
Prairie Creek also offers a morning program on late-start Wednesdays, from 7:30-9:00 am
Each month, our office sends out a registration form home with students in their Backpack Express folder and posts them at the top of this page and in Backpack Express Online. Parents, simply fill it out for the days when additional child care is wanted, and return it in the Backpack Express folder with your payment by the stated deadline.
After school: $8.00 per day
Before school (Wednesday): $4.00 per day