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 provide opportunities for children to build social skills and explore their interests in a choice-based environment. Our purposeful approach provides a balance of structured activities and space for children to freely choose activities that spark their individual interests. Our dedicated staff provide guidance and support children in developing their skills in a safe environment.
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 Company 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 if they are at least 5 years old. Please refer to our website 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 operates before and after school programs in seven school districts in Dane and Waukesha Counties. In addition to these programs, we occasionally offer all day and break programs on non-school days.
Licensing, Accreditation and YoungStar
Madison program sites are accredited by the City of Madison. City of Madison accreditation personnel work with Wisconsin Youth Company staff to review and evaluate 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 licensing compliance or non-compliance statements are posted within the program. All programs participate 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 Company 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
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. Wisconsin Youth Company 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.
Wisconsin Youth Company staff play an important role in the safety and quality of each before and after school program. All staff working with children are trained on all Wisconsin Youth Company policies and procedures as well as CPR and First Aid. Additionally, staff meet all required background, health and orientation requirements that are mandated by DCF. Wisconsin Youth Company is committed to provide on-going professional development including correspondence courses and access to local collaborative training opportunities.
Madison-Out-of-School Time Coalition
Wisconsin Youth Company participates in a program to share information with Madison-Out-of-School Time (MOST), in collaboration with the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). In this program, Wisconsin Youth Company shares attendance records from Madison 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 Company 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. Extra clothes and outdoor gear can be kept in your child’s locker in case they are needed at After School. Please see the attire and weather 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 Company 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 program staff.
Electronics in Program
- Cell Phones: Wisconsin Youth Company 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.
- 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. There is a two-day minimum for regular enrollment.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate a rotating weekly schedule 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, within your program location page. 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 the 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 register online. 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. 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., 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 Company 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. The extracurricular permission form is available here, through the administrative offices, and at all program locations.
Wisconsin Youth Company is responsible for children only during the time they are checked into the program.
Early Release & No School Days
After School program is not offered on no school and early release days (mid-day release). Before School program does operate on early release days.
Last Day of School
If the last day of school is an early release, there will not be after school, however, before school will take place. If the last day of school is a full day (no early release) after school will run and fees will be assessed.
School Cancellations and Closings
If school is canceled, 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 Company 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. Billing periods are bi-weekly. Payment is due on the Monday prior to the start of each bi-weekly billing period.
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.