Before and After School
Please note: families are varied and the use of the word Parent(s) refers to the adult(s) who are responsible for the child(ren).
Before and after school programs are designed to meet the needs of elementary children who are aged 5 to 12 and attending school. In schools with Wisconsin Youth 4K wrap programs, 4K students may attend before and after school programs. In other schools, children enrolled in 4K may be accommodated to join before and after school programs. Accommodations may only be made with director approval, and the child must be 5 years old the first day of attendance. Please refer to our website or program registration materials for the ages served at specific locations. For more information about 4K wrap programs, please see the 4K wrap section of this handbook.
Wisconsin Youth Company (Wisconsin Youth) operates before and after school programs in ten school districts in Dane and Waukesha Counties. In addition to these programs, we also offer all day and break programs on non-school days. Our programs are all licensed and accredited.
Licensing, Accreditation and YoungStar
Madison program sites are accredited by the City of Madison. City of Madison accreditation personnel work with Wisconsin Youth staff to review and evaluate before and after school programs at Madison sites. During this review and evaluation process, children’s relevant information may be used to improve the quality of the program and support for the child. Parents may provide a voluntary authorization during registration, which does not affect enrollment.
YoungStar and State Licensing Postings
State licensing standards are available for review at each licensed program location. The terms of applicable licenses and any licensing violations are posted within the program. Most programs are participating in YoungStar, a quality rating system implemented by the state of Wisconsin. Information about YoungStar can be found at dcf.wisconsinyouth.gov/youngstar/.
Daily Physical Activity
Wisconsin Youth adheres to the quality standards set forth by YoungStar (quality rating system) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) State of Wisconsin Licensing Regulation in regards to daily physical activity offered to children participating in our programs. Children will be offered a minimum of 20-30 minutes each day for large motor activity outdoors, weather permitting and when the temperature is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months. Children may use the gym spaces within our schools during inclement weather when available.
Staffing and Supervision
Wisconsin Youth strives for the best staff-to-child ratio possible in order to support quality programs and at all times operates within applicable state licensing standards.
In the interest of safety and quality programming staff are required to know the whereabouts of each child at all times. All program locations use an organization-approved system to track children within the program that includes knowing the location, names and number of children in attendance. Parents are encouraged to become familiar with this system and to discuss questions and concerns with the program supervisor.
All staff working with children are trained on all Wisconsin Youth policies and procedures. In addition, staff meet all required background, health and orientation requirements that are mandated by DCF.
Madison-Out-of-School Time Coalition
Wisconsin Youth participates in a program to share information with the Madison-Out-of-School Time (MOST) coalition, in collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). In this program, Wisconsin Youth will be sharing attendance records from Madison only programs with MMSD. Eventually the data collected in this program will be used for program evaluation, quality improvement, improving student learning and school performance, and a city-wide analysis of out-of-school time programming. Information collected will only ever be shared in aggregate. No personally identifying information will be made public. Please contact the administrative office with any questions.
What to Bring to Before and After School
Appropriate Dress Attire
Wisconsin Youth asks that all children wear closed-toed shoes during program hours, so that they can safely and fully participate in all activities offered during program hours without danger of accidental injuries.
Appropriate clothing must be worn daily for the weather conditions, i.e. winter coat, hats, gloves, snow pants and snow boots. This is a requirement from licensing. Extra clothes and outdoor gear can be kept in your child’s locker in case they are needed for after school. Please see the chart located in the Health and Safety section of this handbook for appropriate clothing needs.
Please make sure to label all items clearly with your child’s name. Children are discouraged from bringing items beyond what is needed during program hours. Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, including clothing, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.
We don’t allow the use of toys and equipment from home because of the effect it has on the community we are trying to build. If children bring items from home, it can create an environment of exclusion for other children. If you feel some toy or piece of equipment would enhance the program, please discuss the possible purchase with your site program staff.
Electronics in Program
- Cell Phones: Wisconsin Youth does not allow children to use personal cell phones or personal electronic devices when participating in our programs. Children carrying cell phones will be asked to place them in their backpack during program time.
- Digital Photographs: children and Parents may want to take photos of program activities and events. Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for the use of photos taken by participants or their families.
- Computer Access: computer access may be granted at individual programs and used only for academic purposes. Children will be limited to 20 minutes of screen time per day.
Before and After School Regular Enrollment
Children who are registered for regular enrollment are securing a set schedule in before and/or after school programs. Children can be enrolled in before and/or after school programs on a drop-in basis so that they may participate in program on regular school days, early release days and all day and break programs. Before drop-in days may be requested, a drop-in registration must be completed by a Parent, and enrollment must be processed and confirmed by the administrative office. A drop-in day can only be scheduled when program space is available and pre-payment for the day is made in full. Drop-in fees vary by program location and day, which can be found on our website. Once scheduled, drop-in day fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Drop-in days cannot be requested more than two weeks in advance. Parents should notify their school office of any scheduled drop-in days in order for the school to assist with getting children to the right location. Parents may go to wisconsinyouthcompany.org to register online or to download registration forms for initial enrollment. Parents may also request forms be mailed or may pick them up at their administrative office. Drop-in enrollment and scheduling are available mid-October through June. There is a two-day minimum for regular enrollment.
Children who are not registered for all five days of the week may request added-days as needed. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate a rotating weekly schedule during the week. Parents have the option to add an additional day when program space is available and pre-payment for the day is made in full. Added-day fees vary by program location which can be found on our website. Once scheduled, added-day fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Added-days cannot be requested more than two weeks in advance. Parents may call your administrative office to request and schedule an added-day. Parents should notify their school office of any scheduled added-days.
There is an enrollment blackout period for regular enrollment two weeks prior to the start of the school year to allow time for heavy volume of processing. Only completed forms/online registration received before this date will be processed and confirmed to begin the first week of school, as space permits. Registrations received after this date will be processed as volume and capacity permit. Schedule change requests are not processed during this blackout period.
If space in the program is not available, Parents are contacted and offered a place on the wait-list. Parents who accept a place on the wait-list are then contacted if and when space becomes available.
In order to provide a quality experience for your child, we need to have sufficient enrollment to operate a program. If we are unable to offer the program you registered for, we will contact you to discuss possible alternatives.
Before and After School Drop-in Enrollment
Children can be enrolled in before and/or after school programs on a drop-in basis so that they may participate in program on regular school days, early release days and all day and break programs. Before drop-in days may be requested, a drop-in registration must be completed by a Parent, and enrollment must be processed and confirmed by the administrative office. A drop-in day can only be scheduled when program space is available and pre-payment for the day is made in full. Drop-in fees vary by program location and day, which can be found on our website. Once scheduled, drop-in day fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Drop-in days cannot be requested more than two weeks in advance. Parents should notify their school office of any scheduled drop-in days in order for the school to assist with getting children to the right location. Parents may go to wisconsinyouthcompany.org to register online or to download registration forms for initial enrollment. Parents may also request forms be mailed or may pick them up at their administrative office. Drop-in enrollment and scheduling are available mid-October through June.
Before and After School Arrival and Departure
Children must be signed in by a Parent or authorized person aged 18 years or older when they arrive at the program space unless there is written authorization on file for a child’s independent arrival. If Parents authorize their child to arrive independently (by walking or biking, including walking from the parking lot) to before school program, they must indicate an arrival time when registering. Parents must call program staff on the program site phone if their child will be arriving later than the time indicated. Staff will dismiss the children at the first bell, prior to the school day to walk unescorted to their classroom.
After School Programs
All children arrive unescorted from their classroom; all ages will check-in with staff upon arrival to the program. (Arrival procedures may differ at Merton and Mt. Horeb programs, where children may walk from another school building, and if children bus from a different school.) A Parent or authorized pick-up person must sign children out when children are picked up, unless there is written authorization on file for a child’s independent departure. Only authorized persons 18 years of age or older will be allowed to pick up a child from a program. Any parent wanting to allow a child to leave without an authorized pick-up person or someone under the 18 years of age must authorize an independent departure. To do this Parents must provide the following information in writing to your administrative office (an email form the email address on file is sufficient):
- A statement that the independent departure is authorized
- Child’s name and program location
- Specific departure time and date
When staff and children leave the licensed program space where regular programming takes place, a sign will be posted stating where they are, e.g. an off-site field trip location, gym, library, park or playground. Please refer to the sign posted at the Parent table to direct you to the location of program staff and children when they are not in their licensed program space.
An extracurricular permission form is required for all children who participate in extracurricular activities that occur during their scheduled program time in after school. The extracurricular permission form provides Wisconsin Youth with written Parent permission for children to leave the after school program (e.g., to help a classroom teacher, scouts, sports practice, music lessons, etc.). All children participating in an extracurricular activity will need to come to their after school program to check-in with staff prior to attending. This process helps to ensure that the child is properly checked out from after school and the ensures the safety of children. Forms are available on our website, wisconsinyouthcompany.org, under the Resources and Additional Forms, through their administrative office and at all program locations.
Wisconsin Youth is responsible for children only during the time they are checked into the program.
Early Release Days
On scheduled early dismissal dates as listed on the school calendar, programs will begin at the early dismissal time. For children regularly enrolled on days that the early dismissal occurs, no extra fees are incurred and children will be expected to attend. Children not regularly enrolled on the days of early dismissal may request an added day for an additional fee if space is available.
Please note: lunch is not included. Children attending early release days that start before school’s scheduled lunch period should bring a nut-free lunch that does not require refrigeration or microwaving. Milk will be provided, as well as an afternoon snack.
After school programs may not be available on early release days that occur on the first day of the school year and will not be available on early release days that occur on the last day of the school year.
Last Day of School
On the last day of school if schools have early release, programs will not be offered after school, however; program will be offered before school. If the school has a full day (no early release) after school will run and fees will be assessed.
All Day and Break Programs
On non-school days due to teacher in-services, limited holidays and school breaks, all day programs may be offered at select locations. All day programs require separate registration and fees. Children must attend before or after school programs as a regularly enrolled or as a drop-in participant in order to attend all day and break programs. For children regularly scheduled on a non-school day, there is a pro-rated fee for the all day program.
Program enrollment minimums must be met two weeks prior to program start date in order to confirm program. When minimum enrollment is met, registration continues until four business days prior to program start date for all day programs. For winter and spring break programs, registration will close on one specified date to be predetermined each program year for all program days due to processing requirements. A $10 deposit is required at time of enrollment and full payment is required prior to program date for regular enrollment participants. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. Parents may cancel a program by providing written notice no later than two weeks prior to the program date. An email received by our office from an account holder from the email address on file by this deadline is sufficient. Within two weeks of the program date, fees for all day programs are non-refundable and non-transferable. If a program is canceled due to low enrollment Wisconsin Youth will notify all Parents two weeks prior to the program start date and the program deposit will be credited back.
In order to provide a full day of engaging and fun activities, all day and break programs often include field trips. When taking children on field trips that require transportation, a week’s notice will be provided to the Parents of all children, including date, times and destination. Staff carries first aid supplies, attendance and registration information, as well as a cell phone on all trips. Field trips are made in accordance with state licensing regulations as well as Wisconsin Youth policies.
Please note: lunch is not included. Wisconsin Youth is a nut-free company and children are asked to bring a lunch that does not require refrigeration or microwaving, and that is nut-free. Milk will be provided, as well as a morning and afternoon snack.
School Cancellations and Closings
If school is cancelled, delayed or closed early due to bad weather, physical facility problems or other emergencies, before and after school programs will not operate. School closing announcements will be made on the radio, TV, email, incoming message and/or our website, wisconsinyouthcompany.org. In the event of inclement weather, if schools are open but the weather is worsening, after school will operate, but we ask that Parents pick up their child(ren) as early as possible.
Before and After School Fee Structure
Wisconsin Youth before and after school programs correspond with school district calendars and fees are based on operation costs for the entire school year. Our weekly fees are calculated based on the annual expenses of hours of program, number of days, facility fees charged by each district and support expenses. Winter and spring break periods are not included in this calculation. Current fees for specific sites are available on the before and after school program page on our website, under the fees and payment schedule. Weekly fees are consistent through the school year and do not change based on early release days, non-school days or holidays. Fees will not be pro-rated for missed days, non-school days, holidays, school closures (due to weather or other reasons) or schedule changes that don’t coincide with billing period start dates. There will be no additional fees for early release days in which your child is regularly scheduled. Billing periods are bi-weekly. Payment is due on the Monday prior to the start of each bi-weekly billing period.
A 2.5% semester discount is available for Parents paying an entire semester’s fees in advance by the due date on the payment schedule. This pre-payment may be made for one or both semesters. The discount for the pre-payment only includes tuition fees for the regular enrollment schedule. The pre-payment may not be used for all day and break program, added day or any other fees; payment of these fees will be due separately, if applicable. Pre-payment must be made for all children on the account in order to receive the discount. Semester discount pre-payments are estimated payments according to the school year calendar available at the time. Parents who make this pre-payment and increase their enrollment schedule afterwards may be required to submit an estimated pre-payment at the time of the schedule change in order to continue to receive the discount. Parents who withdraw or drop days from their child’s enrollment schedule will receive a refund.
Before and after school program fees include a second child discount, where fees for additional children registered are less than the first child’s fees. For billing purposes, the first child is considered to be the child with the most registered days in program.