Middle childhood refers to the ages between six and 12. Over the past few years, there has been increased interest in the mental and social development of children at this critical period of life. During these six years, children develop important cognitive and social skills that help them transition from childhood to adolescence. Before- and after-school programs can play a key role in helping children in their development.
Before- and after-school programs help children improve their academic and interpersonal skills, as well as let them explore personal interests that may influence the rest of their lives. Some programs allow children to concentrate on their academic performance, either by focusing on subjects where they can excel or by helping them to overcome obstacles that keep them from achieving their full potential. Other programs allow kids to explore personal interests, which may end up becoming lifelong hobbies or even full-time careers. Children will also develop important interpersonal skills by meeting kids and adults in settings that are different from school and home.