Research shows a strong afterschool and summer workforce is key to providing young people with the experiences, connections, and outcomes they deserve. However, the well-documented workforce challenges faced by afterschool and summer programs are negatively impacting programs’ ability to meet the needs of children, youth, and families. Fortunately a variety of resources exist to help the field tackle these challenges.

Workforce Related Survey Findings

Since Spring 2020, the Afterschool Alliance has conducted a series of surveys of afterschool and summer program providers to monitor the state of the afterschool field, including asking questions related to the challenges programs are facing and the supports that they need. This page includes interactive dashboards and briefs documenting survey findings, including a few that focus specifically on the difficulties providers have faced recruiting and retaining staff, such as the retrospective dashboard that shows staffing issues have become the top concern among program providers, and a brief describing how finding and keeping staff is preventing programs from returning to normal operations.


The Power of Us

The Power of Us Workforce Survey is a national survey designed for the participation of the youth fields workforce across sectors and geographies. Through the Power of Us Workforce Survey, youth-serving professionals and volunteers can contribute to a national effort to explore, define, and elevate their work with youth. The survey was administered by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization, and findings from the survey are expected to be released in early March 2024. 


Staff Recruitment Toolkit

Like many other industries, the afterschool field has struggled with staff shortages. These shortages have led to reduced capacity, less availability for students and families, long waitlists, and extra stresses on existing staff -- all at a time when programs could really use some relief, and youth and families need support.To help your efforts, we’ve created a Staff Recruitment Toolkit designed to help program providers recruit and hire new staff. 


NAA Thriving Workforce Initiative

Launched in March of 2022, The National AfterSchool Association's (NAA) Thriving Workforce Initiative aims to build awareness and secure funding through practice, policy, public narrative, and national strategic partnerships. This initiative takes existing work conducted by NAA and collaborating out-of-school time (OST) professionals to 1) define the identity of those who work and for young people in OST, and more importantly 2) create a roadmap for organizations and individuals to follow in their pursuit of supporting a thriving Afterschool workforce within communities throughout the nation.


NCASE Workforce Resources

The National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) has developed a number of resources focused on supporting the afterschool and summer workforce. The resources are geared towards helping state, territory, and tribal Child Care Lead Agencies that are working to advance school-age care and include resources on recruitment and retention, leadership development, and more.


Afterschool Workforce Development

The Youth.Gov website has a number of resources and research that support how a high-quality workforce is essential to providing afterschool and summer programs that lead to positive outcomes for children and youth. Additionally the U.S. Department of Education has identified a series of higher education opportunities relevant to afterschool and summer careers and ongoing professional development. This page lists accredited college or university programs across the United States that offer classes, professional certificates and/or degrees administered in-person and/or online.