1 A SERIES OF FOCUS BRIEFS The State of Afterschool Quality Why Afterschool Quality Matters
2 The State of Afterschool Quality 1 A SERIES OF FOCUS BRIEFS Why Afterschool Quality Matters School-age children, especially those between the ages of four and twelve, want engaging places to spend their time out-of-school. Parents want to know their children are learning and safe afterschool. With over 70% of parents in the workforce, afterschool is not a luxury, but a necessity. Both documents were an important step in improving the overall quality of afterschool, Who is NAA and why do school-age care, expanded learning and summer programs. However, the time has come to gain a we care about quality? better understanding of the full landscape of quality The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) across program types. NAA undertook an initial works to ensure that families who want and need VWXG\RIWKHVWDWXVRITXDOLW\LPSURYHPHQWH̫RUWV expanded learning opportunities and care during nationwide in the summer of 2014. This survey out-of-school hours are able to access high quality informed a series of white papers that discuss the programs. NAA is the membership organization for elements of an afterschool quality improvement professionals who work with children and youth in system, how these systems work across the country school and community-based settings to provide and make recommendations regarding next steps. a wide variety of learning experiences during the school year and the summer. The organization works actively to disseminate the best-practice :KRXVHVDQGEHQH̬WV thinking of the afterschool and youth development profession in a variety of modalities, including from afterschool? its website, annual conference, professional Over 10 million children (18 percent of all school- development opportunities and online and print age children) across the United States participate resources. NAA has developed the nationally in some sort of afterschool program—up from 8.4 regarded Standards for Quality School-Age Care million in 2009. Nineteen million (41 percent) Core Knowledge and Competencies for and the more children would enroll in an afterschool Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals. program if one were available to them—up from The Quality Standards, adopted in 1998 and the 1 . With well over two-thirds of 18.5 million in 2009 Competencies, adopted in 2011, are used in many parents with children under 18 participating in the states and communities and have served as a workforce, there is a considerable need for safe starting point for the development of community and engaging places for children to spend their VSHFL̬FVWDQGDUGVLQRWKHUV out-of- school time. 1. America After 3PM. Afterschool Alliance, 2014.
3 The State of Afterschool Quality 2 WHY AFTERSCHOOL QUALITY MATTERS 4XDOLW\DIWHUVFKRROEHQH̬WV uses a sequenced step-by-step training approach everyone in a community: (S), emphasized active forms of learning by having \RXWKSUDFWLFHQHZVNLOOV $ IRFXVHGVSHFL̬FWLPH Working parents are assured their children are and attention on skill development (F) and were safe afterschool and miss less work so employers H[SOLFLWLQGH̬QLQJWKHVNLOOVWKH\ZHUHDWWHPSWLQJ EHQH̬WIURPDPRUHSURGXFWLYHZRUNIRUFHZLWK to promote (E). less absenteeism. &RPPXQLWLHVDUHVDIHUDQGKDYHORZHU\RXWK Who provides and who crime rates when children are engaged in quality afterschool programs. funds afterschool? Many families participate in tuition- or fee-based Children who participate regularly in quality afterschool programs. Parents pay tuition and/ DIWHUVFKRROSURJUDPVKDYHEHWWHUJUDGHVDQG or registration fees, transportation or special attendance in school than their peers who do not. activity fees to enroll their children in care and enrichment activities. In some cases these fees $IWHUVFKRROSURJUDPVIXUWKHUEHQH̬WFKLOGUHQDQG cover the entire cost of the program while in families by providing a supportive and often lasting others it augments public funding or other support relationship with caring adults. For many children received by the program. Afterschool and summer and families, the relationship with an afterschool SURJUDPVDUHDOVRR̫HUHGE\FRPPXQLW\EDVHG program or provider endures from preschool and faith-based philanthropic organizations such through elementary to middle school and beyond. as YMCA/YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Police An afterschool program leader is often able to Athletic Leagues and 4-H. In many communities, bridge school and community relationships to parents are able to choose from a number of create a patchwork of care and enrichment options DIWHUVFKRROSURJUDPRSWLRQVR̫HUHGE\DPL[RI to support a child’s evolving interests and abilities IRUSUR̬WDQGQRQSUR̬WRUJDQL]DWLRQV over time. Other communities and families, however, have fewer choices. To ensure children living in less advantaged communities have comparable access What is an afterschool to quality programs, some government agencies program? What isn’t an fund afterschool programs through grants. The best-known public funding sources supporting afterschool program? afterschool are the 21st Century Community Afterschool is a blanket term that refers to an Learning Centers (21CCLC) program administered organized program, led by an adult or team of by the US Department of Education and the Child adults, that meets on a regular basis. Typically Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program these programs meet weekdays in the hours administered by the US Department of Health immediately after the school day ends. While some and Human Services. Both of these programs are GH̬QLWLRQVRIDIWHUVFKRROLQFOXGHH[WUDFXUULFXODU designed to provide free or subsidized afterschool activities that are school-sponsored, they often programs for low-income children. In 2013, the exclude school or community sports teams and federal government allocated $1.09 billion to drop-in programs. states to fund 21st CCLC grants and services and Many afterschool stakeholders point to a meta- over $5 billion through CCDF. analysis conducted by Joseph Durlak and Roger Weissburg in 2010 where the authors coined the acronym SAFE to distinguish afterschool programs associated with positive youth outcomes from a 2. Durlak, Joseph A., and Roger P. Weissburg. “Afterschool Programs broader universe of programs that happen in the That Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Social and 2 Expanding Minds and (PRWLRQDO'HYHORSPHQW$UH(̫HFWLYHʐ,Q A SAFE program hours between 3 pm and 6 pm. Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success , 194-198. Washington, DC: Collaborative Communications, 2013. National AfterSchool Association | www.naaweb.org | #afterschoolquality
4 The State of Afterschool Quality WHY AFTERSCHOOL QUALITY MATTERS 3 Other local, state and federal agencies also support afterschool programs. Many public libraries, IRULQVWDQFHR̫HUKRPHZRUNKHOSDQGOLWHUDF\ We know what quality programs during the school year and reading programs during the summer. Forty-three states is, how to measure it and and an increasing number of cities support a how to help programs and comprehensive system of afterschool and summer practitoners achieve it. supports for children, particularly those from low- income families, through collaborative networks. We have learned much about how children learn and develop over the past ten years. Four big What constitutes quality ̬QGLQJVDUHSDUWLFXODUO\UHOHYDQWWRSURJUDPVDQG in afterschool? Why SUDFWLWLRQHUVZKRZRUNZLWKVFKRRODJH DJHV̬YH does quality matter? to eighteen) children: 1RSDUHQWZDQWVWRVHOHFWDEDGRULQH̫HFWLYH 7KHDFKLHYHPHQWJDSFDQEHWUDFHGWRDQ afterschool program for his or her child, just as no RSSRUWXQLW\JDS&KLOGUHQSDUWLFXODUO\WKRVHOLYLQJ DIWHUVFKRROSURJUDPOHDGHUZDQWVWRR̫HUDORZ in low-income homes that do not participate in quality program. A decade and a half of research HDUO\OHDUQLQJSURJUDPVKDYHVLJQL̬FDQWO\ORZHU DQGUHYLHZRISURJUDPHYDOXDWLRQVKDYHLGHQWL̬HG YRFDEXODULHVXSRQHQWHULQJNLQGHUJDUWHQ quality afterschool programs as those that: 7KHGHYHORSPHQWDOSHULRGFRPPRQO\UHIHUUHG Foster positive relationships between Q to as early childhood encompasses children age SURJUDPSDUWLFLSDQWVDQGVWD̫ three to age eight—commonly preschool through third grade. Emerging research points to the Q Build positive relationships among importance of designing a continuum of learning SURJUDPSDUWLFLSDQWV WKDWDOLJQVWRGHYHORSPHQWDOVWDJHVGXULQJWKLV Q 2̫HUDEOHQGRIDFDGHPLFDQG SHULRGRIVXEVWDQWLDOGHYHORSPHQW GHYHORSPHQWDOVNLOOEXLOGLQJDFWLYLWLHV &KLOGUHQEHKLQGJUDGHOHYHODQGRQJUDGHOHYHO Q 3URPRWHKLJKOHYHOVRIVWXGHQWHQJDJHPHQW EHQH̬WDFDGHPLFDOO\IURPDIWHUVFKRROSURJUDPV $IWHUVFKRROSURYLGHVWLPHDQGVSDFHIRUFKLOGUHQ Q Maintain an orientation toward mastery to work at their own pace in a hands-on way RINQRZOHGJHDQGVNLOOVDQG to expand their understanding of new skills and concepts. Research shows this exploratory Q 3URYLGHDSSURSULDWHOHYHOVRIVWUXFWXUHDVZHOO approach to learning helps build children’s 3 DVRSSRUWXQLWLHVIRUDXWRQRP\DQGFKRLFH FRQ̬GHQFHLQWKHPVHOYHVDVOHDUQHUV Evaluations show that students who participate in afterschool do better in school, have better High quality early learning and afterschool relationships with peers and adults and that these SURJUDPVFDQKHOSFORVHWKHDFKLHYHPHQWJDSDQG positive outcomes persist into adulthood. We now VKRZVLJQL̬FDQWSURPLVHIRULPSURYLQJORQJWHUP know what inputs result in the best outcomes. outcomes such as high school graduation and post-secondary enrollment rates as well as college We know that a mix of positive relationships, active and career readiness. learning and student choice and voice, among other factors lead to the best child outcomes. In short, ZHKDYHGH̬QHGZKDWFRQVWLWXWHVTXDOLW\DQGNQRZ what it looks like in an afterschool program. Community 3. Eccles, Jacquelynne, and Jennifer Appleton Gootman. Programs to Promote Youth Development . Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. National AfterSchool Association | www.naaweb.org | #afterschoolquality
5 The State of Afterschool Quality WHY AFTERSCHOOL QUALITY MATTERS 4 A Call to Action We know what quality afterschool is, how to measure it and how to help programs and practitioners achieve it. In a series of focus briefs, NAA will dive more deeply into the elements of afterschool quality. Through the papers we will equip parents, program SURYLGHUVDIWHUVFKRROSURIHVVLRQDOVVFKRROVWD̫DQGOHDGHUVDQG community leaders and funders with the knowledge they need to ensure the afterschool programs serving their community are New research shows afterschool is a real solution quality. The focus briefs will provide to close the achievement gap. a landscape scan highlighting what states are doing to support afterschool quality–and what more WKH\FRXOGEHGRLQJ1$$ZLOOR̫HU our recommendations for increasing the professionalism of the afterschool workforce, recognizing the important role they play in ensuring youth in a community are ready for college, work and life. Finally, we will provide strategies for funding and sustaining a system of tools, resources and supports that ensures afterschool quality over the long term. Read the other papers in this series to learn more about afterschool quality across the country. National AfterSchool Association | www.naaweb.org | #afterschoolquality