Parents & Families

Quality afterschool and out-of-school time (OST) supports working parents, parents that want to work, and families in multiple ways by:

  • Allowing parents to be productive and further their career or education
  • Providing a safe and supportive learning environment
  • Improving academic skills and supports staying in school
  • Exposing students to new activities (cultural outings, technology, lessons, etc.) that some families and schools cannot afford
  • Fostering relationships with well-trained staff and adult role models that care about student well-being and success
  • Engaging parents or guardians in learning


Peace of Mind for Working Parents

Afterschool programs improve employee productivity and reduce absenteeism and support working parents. Pennsylvania is home to nearly 1.3 million school-age children and youth (5-18) who have working parents. (Pennsylvania KIDS COUNT, 2004) A study of the Extended-Service Schools Initiative found that “afterschool programs were having beneficial outcomes: 80% of parents said they were less worried about their child’s safety after school; 57% said their child’s participation helped them manage their own work schedule; 47% said it let them attend classes or job training more easily; 45% said it helped them get a better job or do a better job.” (Public Private Ventures, 2002)


Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy and On Track for School

Afterschool programs are proven to reduce risk behaviors and cut crime. Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly 3 times more likely to use drugs and 37% more likely to become parents. (U.S. Department of Education, 2000) Studies show that juvenile crime and other risk behaviors like smoking, drinking, doing drugs and sexual activity are more like to occur between 3 and 6 p.m. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000) OST also Keep Kids Safe and Healthy through health and wellness education, encouraging physical activity, and providing a safe stable environment to learn.

Children and youth who regularly attend high-quality OST programs have better grades and conduct in school; more academic and enrichment opportunities; better peer relations and emotional adjustment; and lower incidences of drug-use, violence and pregnancy. (U.S. Department of Education, 2000)


Afterschool Enrichment Benefits All Students and Families

Children and youth from kindergarten through 12th grade benefit from afterschool. Afterschool/Out-of-school takes place before or after school, during the summer, or over the weekend. Afterschool programs increase engagement in learning by providing students with opportunities to meet needs that schools and some working families often cannot, e.g., personal attention from adults, a positive peer group, and activities that hold their interest and build self-esteem. (Nellie Mae Foundation, 2003)


Engaging Parents in Learning

Quality OST programs offer opportunities for parents to get involved. Activities and discussion can help parents better understand how their child learns and develops socially, as well as staying on top of their child’s academic progress or needs. The Harvard Family Research Project and Boston’s Build the Out-of-School Time Network’s Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in Afterschool guide focuses on engaging families in OST because children learn and grow differently and their success requires the help of many significant adults.


Finding an Afterschool Program

The Find a Program page will provide you with information and searchable links to find the right quality program for your child.