The Office for Children Keeps The Lights On Afterschool

Fairfax County Department of Family Services
Office for Children

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035-1102

News Release #07-08

October 9, 2007

On Thursday, October 18, children enrolled in the Fairfax County Office for Children's School Age Child Care program will join millions of other children, parents and community leaders across the U.S. in celebration of Lights On Afterschool.

Lights On Afterschool is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring all children have access to quality afterschool programs. The Office for Children, a division of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, commissioned a study that revealed that 41 percent of 11 and 12-year-olds in Fairfax County are in self-care on a regular basis. This is far above the national average of 19 percent. In addition, about 3,500 Fairfax County children who are 8, 9 or 10 years old are often left to take care of themselves.

The county's child supervision guidelines recommend that 8 – 10 year-olds not be left alone for more than 1.5 hours, and only during daylight and early evening hours. The Office for Children's SACC program, which is held in county elementary schools, cares for 5 – 12-year-olds before school, after school, and during school holidays.

With more than 10,000 children enrolled in 134 SACC centers, the SACC program continues to inspire learning, keep children safe, and support working families. At 5 p.m. on October 18, all 134 SACC centers and 10,000 children will participate in a county-wide flashlight event to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for children, families, and communities.

“We're constantly hearing from grateful parents about how much their children enjoy our SACC program,” says SACC Director Pat Diehl. “SACC teachers plan wonderful experiences for children that nurture creativity, support independent thinking, and encourage cooperative behavior.”

More information about the SACC program can be found here.

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Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability
in all county programs, services and activities.
Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.

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Fairfax County Department of Family Services
[ 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035 ]
[ 703-324-7500 ]

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