After-school child care is much more than crowd control

By Faith Boyum
Managing Editor

Alex Roberts works at Project Kids, an after-school child care program in Kasson.

The best part of the job is the kids, and the worst part of the job is the kids.

Alex Roberts, a student at RCTC, works for Project Kids, which provides after school care for children that are 3 years to fifth grade in Kasson.

“We’re kind of like crowd control after school,” said Roberts to explain his job.

The kids are split into groups according to age with a teacher and an assistant in each room to monitor the children’s activities. Typically, each teacher and assistant pair works with 30-35 kids at a time. Activities include games and crafts, though Project Kids provides more extensive care and activities in the summer like trips to swimming pool and the movie theater.

This is Roberts’ first job, which he has had for about six months. During this time, he worked full time in the summer, though now with his classes at RCTC, he works part time, substituting when someone is unable to work their shift.

“I would recommend it as a first-time job,” Roberts said because the hours are flexible and the job itself is not complicated or particularly difficult.

Though he does not plan to work for Project Kids full time permanently, he does like it as a part-time position and thinks it is a good first job, especially for people interested in elementary education. Like any job, whether it is your first or one of many over a period a time, it has both ups and downs.

Roberts finds his job is not usually too difficult and the hours are flexible because his boss is good about planning the work schedule according to each employee’s needs. Perhaps the most difficult part of the job is the kids themselves.

“The biggest thing I dislike about my job is probably the kid’s lack of respect,” he said.

The children tend to test the boundaries and are not always respectful to others, but he still enjoys his job for the most part. After all, how often do you get paid to play with kids? On the other hand, working with young children can be tough, and there are both good days and bad days. However, Roberts has found that the harder days make the good days on the job really good days.

So, you may not always love your job and may find that certain aspects can be both pleasant and unpleasant, depending on the situation, but those difficulties may give you a greater appreciation for good days and the things you like about your job.

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