Child Care

Out-of-School Time Care

How OST Programs Differ from School

Out-of School Time Programs should not be just an extension of the school day. They should offer enrichment opportunities and other learning activities not held in a classroom setting.

Below are some of the ways OST programs differ from school:


  • Relatively fixed environment.
  • Children and youth spend most of their time in same-age groups.
  • Focus on academic skill acquisition.
  • Focus on formal instruction.
  • Activity choices are limited.
  • Adults determine most activities.
  • Adults take on teaching roles.
  • Schedule is fixed each day.

OST Program

  • Flexible, modular environment arranged in activity areas.
  • Children and youth are often in multi-age groups.
  • Focus on all areas of development, including practice and application of academic skills.
  • Focus on self-guided exploration and activities.
  • A wide range of choices in activities.
  • Children and youth choose most activities and experiences.
  • Adults take on facilitative roles.
  • Schedule is flexible and subject to change by children and youth as well as adults.