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Speaker lists factors to consider in starting after-school program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Churches considering an after-school care program need to consider several points before making a decision, said Anne Moor, director of the School Age Care Ministry of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tenn.
Speaking Oct. 18 at a LifeWay Christian Resources’ workshop in Nashville, Tenn., Moor said churches need to consider five issues:
— First, look at the location of the church. What schools are in the area? Are they rural, suburban, inner-city? Programs set in rural and inner-city churches probably will need to charge lower tuition than programs in churches in more affluent suburban areas.
— Second, determine what schools can be served. Is there more than one elementary school in the area?
— Third, consider the physical plant of the church. How many children can be accommodated? What size are the classrooms? What size are the playgrounds? What size is the kitchen? How many doors would need to be secured?
— Fourth, find out about state licensing. Generally, these regulations relate more to safety than programming. Check on the state requirements from time to time, since changes are made regularly.
— Finally, look at the transportation situation. Some school districts will actually allow school buses to drop the children off at the church, but most do not. Moor noted there are safety issues, as well as state and federal regulations that will determine when and if a church can use its own vans to transport children from the school to the church. She suggested checking with local transportation authorities to find out if the church’s vans are considered suitable.
Moor’s workshop preceded the National Preschool-Children’s Convention sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.