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Top 5 findings from the America After 3PM special summer report

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Top 5 findings from the America After 3PM special summer report

Summer programs provide critical positive experiences that youth carry with them as they grow. Structured programs offer the chance to foster friendships and connections, develop life skills, be active, and explore different subjects through intellectually engaging projects. For families, summer programs provide peace of mind knowing their child is in a safe and engaging space. However, data finds that access to summer learning is still inaccessible for some families.

Below are the major findings from our latest America After 3PM report, Time for a Game-Changing Summer, With Opportunity and Growth for All of America's Youth:

1. Parent satisfaction for summer programs is strong, with participation higher than ever.

Parent satisfaction with their child’s structured summer programs is at 95 percent, with the percentage of families reporting at least one child is in a summer program climbing 22 percentage points since 2008. 

2. Parents want this summer to be different.

With the approach of our second COVID summer, parents are looking for programs focused on recovery and fun, engaging activities. While 75 percent of parents wanted to make sure their child did not lose academic ground, many parents are prioritizing opportunities for their child to engage in outdoor and screen-free activities, build life skills, and explore different subjects.

3. Barriers to access remain high, especially for low-income families.

Thirty-one percent of children not enrolled in a summer program would be enrolled if a program was available.The study also finds high unmet demand nationally, with children in low-income families most likely to be left behind. Cost is the barrier to enrollment 44 percent of parents cite most often.

4. Programs face barriers to operation.

Summer programs were hard hit by the pandemic, and 82 percent of providers are still unsure about their future due to concerns about long-term funding. Other factors providers are concerned about include reduced enrollment 52 percent, hiring enough staff 44 percent, addressing learning loss 42 percent, and having the resources to meet families’ needs 36 percent. 

5. Parents are highly in favor of public funding for summer programs.

Support for public funding reaches 88 percent, with parents agreeing funding should be used to make summer programs available to youth in communities with limited access. Across the country, states show bipartisan support for summer learning

To find your state’s dashboard and data breakdown, head to the America After 3PM data dashboard. Here you will find national and state-level metrics to uncover unmet demand, satisfaction rates, enrollment challenges for families, and support for public funding.

With insights into what summer programs looked like throughout the nation in 2019-2020, we can help redefine and restructure the parameters of equitable summer learning in 2021.

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4 key takeaways from program providers' summer planning

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BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

New issue brief: Afterschool fostering protective factors

In Colorado, the Montrose Recreation District’s Summer Enrichment Program creates a welcoming environment to help students feel safe to share their feelings. At Jóvenes de Puerto Rico en Riesgo, Inc. (JPRR), also known as Puerto Rico Youth at Risk (PRYR), one-on-one...

BY: Nikki Yamashiro      09/24/19

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BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/13/21

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Closing the Childhood Equity Gap: New report provides a data-driven look into the prioritization of children at the state and local levels

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Afterschool turns the peak time for crime into a time of opportunity for young people

For close to 20 years, we at the Afterschool Alliance have been dedicated to the cause of expanding afterschool opportunities because we know the life changing impact programs can have on children, on families, and on communities.  Today, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a new report that...

BY: Jodi Grant      10/16/19

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