Before and After School child care programs are offered by the YMCA of Greater Des Moines at local elementary schools or YMCA branches. A trained staff of child care professional provides specific activities, each of which is balanced throughout the day or week including:
- Free Choice. The child chooses from several activity options, some relatively unstructured and some that are staff-directed learning centers.
- Small group and individuals. The activities available can be done either in small groups or alone. They may be initiated by the adults with the expectation that all children will work on the activity or they may be initiated by the children themselves.
- Project time. Time set aside for children to begin or return to a long-term project needing specific space, materials, tools or leadership.
- Large group. Activities designed for large group participation usually under the leadership of a staff member.
- Indoors and outdoors. As much as possible, and depending on the weather, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines strives to balance indoor and outdoor activities.
- Snack. A nutritious snack, planned to meet a child’s nutritional requirement, is served each day.