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4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

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4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance released a blog digging into regional differences from the COVID-19 program provider survey results. Here, we will explore a few more notable differences, specifically in regards to programs’ summer plans and what the future holds. 

  1. This summer, the majority of programs are planning on offering programming in some capacity, with highest numbers reported in the Midwest.

More than 3 in 5 program providers across regions reported that they are planning on offering summer programming (61 percent); however, programs in the Midwest were more likely to report this (69 percent), compared to 65 percent of programs in the South, 57 percent of programs in the Northeast, and 53 percent of programs in the West.

  1. Nationwide, most programs reported offering virtual programming this summer, followed by in-person programming, and finally a hybrid model; however, notable differences were found when looking across regions.

Program providers in the Midwest were most likely to report that they would offer or were offering in-person services this summer (53 percent); however, they were least likely to report offering virtual programming (19 percent). In contrast, close to half of respondents in the South reported offering virtual programming (48 percent), but were least likely to offer in-person services (21 percent).

Programs in the Northeast were more likely to report offering virtual programming (47 percent) than in-person services this summer (24 percent). Those in the West followed a similar pattern, with 35 percent offering virtual programming and 27 percent offering in-person services.

  1. Differences were found across regions for changes made to staff

The percent of respondents that reported having to lay off staff ranged from 11 percent in the Midwest to 22 percent in the Northeast. Furloughs ranged from 25 percent of programs in the West to 39 percent in the South.

Among all programs that reported having to layoff or furlough staff members, half reported having to layoff or furlough more than 75 percent of staff. The Northeast and Midwest were most likely to report having to lay off more than three-quarters of their staff (55 percent), followed by the South (50 percent), and the West (40 percent).

  1. Uncertainty about the future is high across regions, however, where the uncertainty lies varies by region.

7 in 10 Northeast respondents said they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about the lack of certainty about when programs will reopen (72 percent), higher than providers in the West (64 percent), South (56 percent), and the Midwest (49 percent).

In regards to potential staff changes, over half of programs in the West (54 percent) and Northeast (51 percent) are “extremely” or “very” concerned about having to layoff or furlough staff in the coming months, whereas roughly 4 in 10 are concerned in the South (43 percent) and Midwest (39 percent). 40 percent of respondents in the Northeast are “extremely” or “very” concerned about being able to re-hire those furloughed in the months to come, followed by 35 percent in the West, and 30 percent in the Midwest and South.

There are also similarities with concerns about the future. Across regions, similar levels of concern were found for the cost of new restrictions and whether families will come back in the fall. In addition, although slightly higher in the West, all regions reported high levels of concern around losing touch with students in need.

These results are from a survey conducted between May 28 and June 30, with responses from 914 program providers representing more than 6,000 programs. You can help us keep up the story of how COVID-19 is affecting afterschool and summer programs by completing a follow-up survey that focuses on what programs have been able to offer this summer and plans for fall. The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time and your responses will be anonymous. To thank you for your time, 50 respondents to the survey will be randomly selected to win a $50 cash prize. Start the survey at: https://3to6.co/survey.

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