Amarillo After-School Programs In Demand

The demand for after-school programs are growing in the Amarillo area. The programs are considered not only a necessity but cost effective for parents.

A third of the children in Amarillo go unsupervised after school, these are children ranging in ages from 5 to 13 years old. A drastic number that school officials say is unnecessary.

There are more than 30 private and public after-school programs in the area.   Some say the after school care programs through Amarillo Independent School District are the most cost effective. Grandparent LaDonna Harris picks up her grandchildren everyday for her daughter and is happy programs, such as the "Extended School Program" are around.  "This is a lot more reasonable for them it cost a lot for them to have after school care at other places," Harris said.

Parents can save any where from a $100 to $500 a week on child care through AISD and the convenience of keeping kids at school is a blessing for some. "It's a blessing to know they are safe right here at school," she said.

A.I.S.D school official Doug Loomis says the district's after school programs are the key to a child's success. "AISD has developed some of our programs it has changed to focus from after school care to after school that has a focus on academics," Loomis said. "They keep em' busy and have treats and its a good thing for them it really is," Harris said.

Without programs like these, parents and school officials agree the safety for children could be compromised. School officials say if your are looking for after school care for your child, talk with their principal. They say some school programs are based on a sliding scale fee.