Most communities have before- and after-school supervised programs, but these opportunities may not be financially available for those who need them most, namely children who have single mothers and dual-worker low-income families. Parents must not only be aware of and have access to quality adult-supervised programs, but also know the particular strengths and needs of their child. Such strengths and needs change as the child matures. Children under age twelve should not be left alone in self-care or in the care of those who cannot adequately provide for their needs and safety. For mature adolescents, partial care and periodic supervision may be sufficient. Reevaluation should occur regularly. It is much less expensive to provide these programs for children than to deal with the consequences in adulthood.


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