State Policy

Afterschool policy at the state and local level

Knowing what's going on in your state is an important step in advocating for afterschool. These state-specific resources will help you gain the local knowledge you need and let you see what others are doing in your area.

Your first place to start is with your statewide afterschool network. If your state doesn’t have an afterschool network, try the key contacts listed.

Different vehicles and policies have been used across the nation to support afterschool programming. The Afterschool Alliance has compiled several examples of what exists in states across the country to provide you with inspiration and guidance as you work with other advocates and policy makers to advance the cause of afterschool. If you are looking to take on any of these types of projects in your state, you should begin by getting in touch with your statewide afterschool network. The state networks are established in almost every state to facilitate the kind of multi-level cooperation that can bring about these changes.

State legislation: A number of states have legislation that provides a solid foundation for widespread access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Take a look at examples of different legislation that has been advanced in different states that can provide valuable insights for how you could develop a proposal in your state.
State budget process: Drafting legislation is not always the best way to get funding for afterschool programs; sometimes policy makers can provide significant supports to afterschool through the appropriations process. Check out examples that help illustrate how to work within the budget process to find funding for afterschool and see what other states have established.
Task forces, commissions & advisory committees: Policy makers of all sorts—including governors, mayors and legislators—typically have the authority to create task forces, commissions and advisory committees focusing on specific topics that may be related to afterschool. Learn more about the differences between each type of body, their benefits and limitations, and how to establish one and make the most of the opportunities it provides.
Governors’ children’s cabinets: Some governors have brought together cabinet officials to better coordinate the services that they provide to children and youth. Find out how this can benefit the afterschool field, and learn about the pros and cons associated with developing a children's cabinet.
Ballot initiatives: While working with policy makers can sometimes be an easy way to develop policy, sometimes you just have to go right to the voters. A number of states and many localities allow ballot initiatives as a manner of advancing afterschool supports and funding. Explore our guidance, resources and examples on how ballot initiatives can be used to increase access to quality afterschool programs.
State Policy Trends: an analysis of states and their leadership in 2006 and 2007 revealed some key opportunities for afterschool, including the theme of education as an investment, engaging older youth, and keeping kids of all ages healthy and safe.


View also some additional links for more state level data on Afterschool Issues: Find information for your state on issues ranging from school-age child care, summer learning, juvenile justice, health and wellness, the arts, career and technical Education, meals and more.

Statewide Afterschool Networks

Currently, 42 states have statewide afterschool networks to coordinate and influence the systems that support the success of children.

Each network is centered around three goals: 

1. Create a sustainable structure of statewide, regional and local partnerships—particularly school-community partnerships—focused on supporting afterschool policy development at all levels. 
2. Support the development and growth of statewide policies that will secure the resources needed to sustain new and existing afterschool programs. 
3. Support statewide systems to ensure programs are of high quality. 


To learn more about the statewide afterschool networks and get in touch with key contacts in your state, visit