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February 2021

Spotlight on Out-of-School Time Programs
This edition of Research Connections Library Highlights features publications about out-of-school time (OST) programs. Topics include accessibility; affordability; diversity, equity, and inclusion; quality; adverse childhood experiences; and parents’ perspectives.

America After 3pm: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks

This report provides a detailed picture of afterschool programs across America. It covers accessibility and affordability barriers that many families face and highlights the wide-ranging benefits of afterschool programs. In addition to the main report, the Afterschool Alliance published two related reports focused on the specific experiences of Black and Latinx families and communities. Although the data included in the main report were collected prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COIVD-19) pandemic, the report does include information from an October 2020 survey that addresses afterschool programs during the pandemic.

Lessons Learned for Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Y-USA’s Out-of-School Time Programs 

This evaluation from Child Trends highlights the efforts of the YMCA to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their afterschool programs, summer learning camps, and other out-of-school programs. The strategies—such as staff training on DEI, intentionally diverse and representative staffing at all levels of the organization, and activities focused on diverse and inclusive topics—can be employed by other afterschool organizations to improve DEI efforts.

Washington’s Expanded Learning Opportunities: The Promise of a Systems Approach

This report provides an analysis of Washington State’s Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) initiative. It covers how Washington focused on improving the quality of ELOs, engaged key stakeholders across the state, and enhanced accessibility to high-quality OST programs. It also provides next steps and recommendations for other states and stakeholders seeking to support their own ELO programs.
Adverse Childhood Experiences and the School-Age Population: Implications for Child Care Policy and Out-of-School Time Programs

This research brief discusses the important role that OST programs play in helping children deal with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). It also provides recommendations for how OST programs can act to help children heal from or even prevent ACEs. Strategies include integrating trauma-informed practices and healing-centered routines.

The Demand for Both Coverage and Quality in Out-of-School Time: Parents Share What They Value in School-Age Programs

This research brief features the voices of working parents who enroll their children in OST programs (for the purpose of child care and academic and social-emotional support). Their perspectives shine a light on the need for safe, high-quality OST programs that are accessible to working families.

Towards a School-Age Child Care Research and Policy Agenda

The Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium 2020 Virtual Event on August 26, 2020 covered the topic of school-age child care, including before- and after-school care. The following materials are available: a recording of the presentation, the slide deck from the presentation, and a summary of the discussion.

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Copyright © 2020 ICF, All rights reserved.

Until March 30, 2019, Research Connections was supported under grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Research Connections is now supported by contract #HHSP233201500071I from OPRE, ACF, HHS. The contents do not necessarily represent the views of OPRE, ACF, or HHS. 

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