Uncertain Times 2012
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
The Afterschool Alliance recently released a study assessing the impact of economic conditions on afterschool programs. Uncertain Times 2012, conducted between April 25 and June 8, 2012, is the only research to examine the fiscal health of afterschool programs and their ability to meet the needs of their communities.
All of us who intersect with the afterschool and youth development (AYD) field either as a provider, parent, youth, educator or community member concerned about the health and well-being of our children, youth and communities, this report provides important insight into struggles faced by afterschool programs and the direct impact on youth served.
“The 2012 report, the third in the Uncertain Times series, finds that afterschool programs continue to grapple with diminishing budgets and are concerned about financial security. These constraints, coupled with increased demand, leave them unable to fully support the children who need their services most. The report is based on 1,012 survey responses, representing 4,947 afterschool sites serving more than 567,470 children located in urban (45 percent), suburban (30 percent) and rural (31 percent) communities across the United States.”
Some of the key findings include:
- More than 3 in 5 programs (62 percent) report their funding is down a little or a lot from three years ago.
- Among African-American majority programs, 7 in 10 (68%) and 65% of Latino majority programs report that their funding is down from three years ago.
- Almost 9 in 10 programs (88 percent) say children in their community need afterschool care, but are unable to access it.
- More than half of programs (57 percent) report that their budget is inadequate to meet community needs, an increase of nearly 10 points since 2009.
- Close to 1 in 5 programs (16 percent) report that a loss of funding caused major cutbacks or shut down sites (up from 14 percent in 2009).
The report includes some policy recommendations at the federal level to improve access to programs.
- Increase federal funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the only federal funding stream dedicated to before-school, afterschool and summer programs.
- Increase funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to provide child care vouchers to more eligible families.
- Allow existing funding streams to support quality afterschool programs.
- Include language in the Workforce Investment Act and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help before-school, afterschool and summer program reach middle school and high school students.
Take a moment to read this report and check out SOWA’s Get Involved page on our website with more information on how you can join thousands of AYD supporters across our state in working to ensure children and youth in our state have access to high-quality programs.
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