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Children's views on school-age care: child's play or childcare?
School aged care (SAC)11 SAC is an abbreviation for school age care. is a much neglected policy and research area, with particularly limited literature on children's views and experiences of school aged care. This article examines the findings from government consultations with 177 five to twelve-year-old Irish children on their likes, dislikes and opinions on the afterschool care experience using a variety of creative and age-appropriate methodologies. The findings from the consultations indicate that children want to be able to relax and feel comfortable after school. Play was identified as the most popular after-school activity by children of all ages; relationships with family, extended family, friends, childminders and other carers were noted as being very important; and eating and cooking were also identified as central activities for children in the after-school period of their day. Children expressed a dislike of being in structured environments with rules, not being treated appropriately for their age and lack of food choice. The results are reflective of international research in this area which highlights the value placed by children on opportunities to engage in activities, free play and to develop and extend friendships in afterschool care contexts. Policy development must address these priorities, in the context of the reality of the different sites of care for children and personnel available to carry out school age care.
School age care , Children , Voice , Policy
Horgan, D., O'Riordan, J., Martin, S. and O'Sullivan, J. (2018) 'Children's views on school-age care: Child's play or childcare?', Children and Youth Services Review. In Press, doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.05.035