This is Science Today. New research has found parents
of middle-school children aged ten to twelve are at
a loss over what to do about a lack of after-school
programs. Rivka Polatnick, a senior researcher at
the Center for Working Families at the University
of California, Berkeley, says once children graduate
from elementary school, the supports that working
parents had relied on before drop off.
Polatnick: There's very little in the way of
full-scale childcare for the after school hours at
the middle school stage. So, many families find that
home alone becomes the only way out.
Narrator: Polatnick also interviewed middle
school children about this trend and found although
many welcome this newfound independence, some kids
admitted they were lonely or bored being home alone
in front of the TV or computer.
Polatnick: So with some kids, there's just
basic safety issues, but then beyond that there's
the question of what's the optimal way for kids to
be spending those hours from three to six and sitting
in front of a TV, even if they're safe, is not what's
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin