A+ is the outcome of a joint effort of former Governor John Waiheke's Subcabinet on Early Childhood Eduction and Child Care (chaired by former Governor Ben Cayetano who was Lieutenant Governor at that time, the Hawaii State Board of Education and department ofEducation (DOE) in 1989.
The goal of the A+ Program is to reduce the high incidence of latchkey children and provide affordable after-school child care services to children in the public elementary schools whose parents work, attend school or are in job training programs. The program also provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment with a rich variety of activities for the children.
About the Program
The program starts immediately after the close of the school day. Children report to the base site for the A+ Program at their school. In general, during the first 30 minutes or so, children check in and are given time for free play/snack. After free play/snack children participate in enrichment, physical development/coordination activities and are given time to complete homework. Enrichment includes activities such as arts, crafts, drama, music and dance. Physical development/coordination activities include physical fitness activities, sports and games.
Character development themes may be introduced to children in large group settings. There may also be presentations such s crime protect, drug abuse, pedestrian safety as community resources are available.
The A+ Program is not an extension of the regular school day. While some structure is necessary for order and control, activities will be offered in a cooperatively informal setting where children are given the opportunity to choose from a variety of activities. Children
will be encouraged to use after-school time to complete homework assignments.
While the program is operated by the DOE and not required to be licensed. State licensing standards were used as a guide in designing the program. The use of DOE facilities means that building and safety standards are met. Staff will be hired at each site so that the 20 to 1 children to staff ratio required for licensing is not exceeded. New employees will be subject to criminal history checks, and will receive both pre-service and in-service training. The A+ Program will provide an array of stimulating, enriching and enjoyable activities designed to engage children's interests and keep them active both mentally and physically.