South African Journal of Education
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
Self care is one of the options for parents in need of after school care for their children. In certain studies self care is seen as detrimental to development and academic performance, but in other studies children do fairly well notwithstanding their latchkey situation - self care could teach young people a sense of personal responsibility and self reliance. In this article we emphasise the negative influence of self care, especially for primary school children. The after-school hours alone at home can be very risky for children living in low income, dangerous, or disadvantaged environments. Children being left alone for more than three hours often present with low self esteem, low academic efficacy and high levels of depression. They are often not well adjusted and sometimes present with behavioural problems. Educators have expressed concern about the academic adjustment and achievement of self-care children. In this study we looked at the influence of a latchkey situation on children's relationships with parents and educators in connection with educational success. A qualitative research design was used with three cases of latchkey children, where parents, children, and their educators were interviewed.
Keywords : after school care; educational context; educational failure; educational success; educators; latchkey children; parents; relationships; responsibility; self care.