How To Start An After School Program part 3

By Wanda Parker

KidTrek now provides on-line training to assist you in starting a Christian based After school program click here for more information

Okay, are you ready to get started?  This is assuming you’ve done your homework from the previous two posts:

After School Program Part 1
After School Program Part 2

I am going to tell you how to start a ministry that will give the highest results if you want a kid when he is 40 to be similar to the kid I described in How To Start An After School Program part 2. (Note in the previous sentence I switched from using the term program to the term ministry.  To see the results I want to see I believe all involved must see it as a ministry, something God has called them to do – not just another program.)

Begin with PRAYER – lots of prayer.  If you want to see the results I described yesterday it is going to take an immense amount of prayer.  Find others who have your vision to join you in praying.

  • Set regular times to gather for prayer,
  • Get a list of individuals who are willing to be on a prayer e-mail list
    • E-mail them at least once a week with specific prayer requests
  • Ask the staff and lay leadership at your church to pray and give them regular specific updates
  • Purpose Statement
  • Guiding Values
  • Philosophy of Ministry


What type of budget do you have with which to work?


Kids need committed adults in their lives.  They need adults who are willing and able to be there for the long haul.  They need individuals who have perseverance and won’t give up at the first set-back.  Click here for a link to a description of this adult.

  • Will your staff be paid or must you rely on volunteers?
  • Things to think about working with volunteers
    • What time of day are they available?
    • How many days are they able to give?
    • How many hours each day are they able to come?
    • Do you have a commitment from anyone today?  What are their parameters?
    • How long of a commitment are you going to ask for?
  • Things to think about when working with paid staff?
    • Is it a part time or full time position?
    • Is the pay enough so they can stay for several years?
  • How will your staff be trained?  Are you trained?
    • Dr. David DuBois, an expert in the field of mentoring, says faith-based after school programs often fail because those running them don’t understand child development.  Do you and your staff understand child development?  Most parents don’t know or understand child development.
  • Staff must be vetted – how will you do that?


What the ministry components look like depends on how you have answered the above questions.  Things to think about:

  • How many days will you be open?
  • What hours will you be open?
  • Will kids be required to attend everyday you are open or will it be a drop-in center?
    • If you want the same results I want, a drop-in center won’t get you there.
  • How old will the kids be?
  • How many kids will you work with?
    • 5 kids per adult if you want lasting results.  If your staff are all volunteers 5 is too many.
  • What will you do?
    • Homework/Tutoring
    • Bible
    • Life skills
    • Recreation
    • Crafts/The Arts
    • Snacks
    • Family time
  • How much time will you allot for each component?
  • What about discipline issues?
  • Be sure you are set for all potential emergencies.

Know that it takes so much more than what you do with the kids within the set hours you are all together.  For lasting results you must be involved with the primary nurturers, the school and social service providers.

The final question is – do you just want to keep them “safe” for a few hours or do you want them to be “safe” for ever?

From here it becomes really individual – each center will be different with different needs.  Please feel free to ask any questions you might have pertaining to your particular situation.  KidTrek’s passion is to see at-risk kids, America’s Invisible Children, receive the nurturing they deserve – which demands excellence.

Email me at wanda@kidtrek and I’d love to brainstorm with you.


4 responses to “How To Start An After School Program part 3

  1. Pingback: Christian After School Programs – Getting Started | KidTrek – After School Programs

  2. i have plenty of training to work with kids i have my early childhood diploma and i work at a public school if it s through my church do i have to have any kind of license to run my program

  3. As long as you are just doing an after school program – that it is not a day care center you don’t have to be licensed. The more spiritual it is the better.

    I have had people with masters degrees and years of serving children who have learned a lot by going through the training. Depending on what you want the out come to be it is very different from working in the school or the education you received for preschool.


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