America After 3PM: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks

America After 3PM: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks

Unmet demand for afterschool programming is at an all-time high, especially in traditionally underserved communities, a report from the Wallace Foundation finds. Based on a survey conducted in early 2020 of more than thirty-one thousand U.S. households and a follow-up survey of a subset of more than fourteen thousand, the report, America After 3PM: Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks (52 pages, PDF), found that for every child enrolled in an afterschool program, there are three more waiting to get in. According to the survey, 58 percent of Black children and 55 percent of Latinx children are not enrolled in an afterschool program but would be if one were available, compared with 46 percent of white children. But even as parents' satisfaction with afterschool programs and recognition of the benefits associated with participation — a reducion in unproductive screen time, the reinforcement of life skills such as team work, and a reduction in drug use or other risky behaviors — grows, cost, a lack of available programming, and a lack of safe transportation to and from programs continue to be barriers to participation for children from low-income families.

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