Afterschool Alliance Research

Informing providers, advocates, and policymakers for 20 years

Delve into our vast collection of research resources that show afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and helping working families across the country. 

An integral component of Afterschool Alliance’s mission to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs is research that assesses and examines the ways children spend their time during the afterschool hours, the opportunities afterschool programs provide the children and families in their communities, and the public support for these programs.

This section contains research materials the Afterschool Alliance has produced over the past 15 years. Find the resource that best fits your needs by searching by document type or by issue area. If you are interested in learning more about afterschool programs, explore Afterschool Essentials, or find out how many children are in afterschool programs by visiting the America After 3PM page. You can also search by issue topic and learn more about afterschool programs supporting young people in variety of areas and subjects, ranging from the arts to health and wellness to STEM. 

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Afterschool Alliance Audio Conference

Afterschool Alliance Audio Conference Summary of Transcript: MS Word document


Afterschool Alert: Poll Report

Across Demographic and Party Lines, Americans Clamor for Safe, Enriching Afterschool Program January 2004 PDF


Afterschool Alert Poll Report


Year In Review 2008

The year 2008 presented the afterschool community with many obstacles, most notably the economic crises, but also important opportunities for growth. Notable events in 2008 include: celebrating ten years of 21st CCLC, one of the largest Lights On Afterschool Rallies to date, and the Afterschool Alliance's publication of America's Afterschool Storybook—a compilation of stories of those whose lives have been transformed by afterschool.


Year in Review 2007

Despite facing many challenges the past year, 2007 marked a year of growth for the afterschool community. Along with a significant increase in 21st CCLC funding, for the first time since 2002, this year provided new research underscoring the benefits of afterschool, increased funding at the state and local level, increased support from policy makers and community leaders, and other new resources to support high quality afterschool opportunities.


Where Did All the Afterschool Staff Go? – Wave 6 (January 2022)

Finding staff to hire or staffing shortages, and maintaining staff levels through health concerns and safety protocols are the top two concerns among afterschool providers based on the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 Wave 6 survey, conducted by Edge Research between Nov. 1 and Dec. 13, 2021. While staffing challenges are not a new issue for the afterschool field, this survey of 1,048 afterschool program providers confirms that now, more than ever, staffing is impacting the ability of providers to meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

Issue Briefs Surveys


What Summer Programming Looks Like for 2021 in the Time of COVID-19 - Wave 5 (Aug 2021)

This summer, as most states lift COVID-19 restrictions and families ease back into public life, summer programs also report moving toward a return to normal, with a nearly 70 percent increase in programs opening their doors and serving students in-person in some capacity compared to the summer of 2020 and 8 in 10 providers reporting optimism about the future of their program. However, issues remain, with more than half of providers serving students in-person reporting a waitlist and operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Wave 5 provider survey of 937 program providers was conducted June 2-28, 2021, and represents more than 6,400 program sites.

Surveys COVID-19

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What Does the Research Say About Afterschool? (Nov 2017)

Afterschool and summer learning programs inspire students to learn, keep children and teenagers safe, and give parents peace of mind. This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings—from meta-analyses to program-level evaluations—that show that there is demonstrable evidence of the positive impact programs have on students' academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior. 


What Does the Research Say About 21st Century Community Learning Centers? (Nov 2017)

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) are afterschool and summer learning programs that are locally-designed school and community solutions that help kids learn and grow, keep children and teenagers safe, and support families to balance work with home. This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings from evaluations of the federally-funded Community Learning Centers programs that demonstrate the positive impact programs across the country are having on students' academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior. 


Uncertain Times 2012: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today's Economy

This is the third installment of the Uncertain Times series, which assesses the impacts of economic conditions on afterschool programs. Based on 1,012 survey responses, this report finds that afterschool programs are struggling to meet the needs of children and families in their communities as they face shrinking resources and dismal prospects for new support. Hardest hit are programs serving disadvantaged communities—the very population that has the most to gain from afterschool and summer programs.

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