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Washington in Bottom 10 States in Nation for Afterschool Participation

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Afterschool and Summer News

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Washington, DC — Washington state has made progress since 2009, but still lags behind the rest of nation on afterschool participation, according to a new household survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance. The 2014 edition of America After 3PM found that demand for afterschool programs still far exceeds supply; the number of children in Washington who would be enrolled in an afterschool program if one were available surpasses the number of children enrolled in afterschool programs in the state. The household survey also found that the vast majority of parents of children in afterschool programs in Washington report significant benefitsfrom their children’s participation.

The America After 3PM survey included 30,000 American households and 293 in-depth interviews in Washington. It found that 17 percent of Washington students, 183,099 children in all, are enrolled in afterschool programs, up from 12 percent in 2009, when the survey was last conducted. But 217,293 Washington students are still without adult supervision in the afternoons. The parents of 333,927 Washington children not already in an afterschool program say they would enroll their child if a program were available.

afterschool-partidipation and demand

“Afterschool providers and advocates in the state are working tirelessly to provide quality afterschool programs to as many children and families as resources will allow,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “But Washington has a lot of work ahead if it’s to keep up with other states, and even more if it is to provide all children with the afterschool opportunities they need. Most parents in the state who want their child in a program can’t find one, and that needs to change. Every child who is unsupervised after school is a child potentially at risk. Quality afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families. Every Washington family that needs an afterschool program should have access to one.”

“Since 2009 our state has made significant cuts to funding and other supports for afterschool programs,” said Janet Schmidt, Chief Program and Policy Officer for School’s Out Washington. “$3 million for direct support to communities was cut in June 2009. In June 2013, more than $400,000 that supported quality supports, such as on-site professional development and quality assessments was also cut. Washington’s drop in ranking underscores how critical state investments are to a high quality continuum of services for kids and families to succeed in school and life.”

To determine the state rankings, a composite score was calculated for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, and indexed against the national average. Each state’s overall score is based on afterschool program participation, afterschool programs reaching children in need, and parents’ satisfaction with key features of their child’s afterschool program.

In important respects, Washington results mirror the national survey findings, which include:

The national and Washington America After 3PM reports, and accompanying data, are available at http://www.afterschoolalliance.org. A snapshot of national participation and demand for summer learning programs is also available online.

Light’s On Celebrations Happening Now

On October 23, more than 1 million people in communities across the nation and at U.S. military installations worldwide will join the only national rally for afterschool programs. Sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance and now in its 15th year, Lights On Afterschool brings communities together for science fairs, fun runs, community service events, music and dance performances, open houses and other events at schools, community centers, malls, parks and recreation centers,
science museums, state capitols, and other settings. Find a local Lights On Afterschool event here.

Findings from America After 3PM are based on in-depth interviews with 13,709 U.S. households with children, completed by way of an online survey using a blend of national consumer panels. Shugoll Research collected and analyzed the data for America After 3PM. The goal of at least 200 completed interviews was reached in every state and the District of Columbia. In states where this goal could not be reached using online panels, random-digit dialing was used to complete supplementary telephone interviews. In order to participate, respondents had to live in the United States and be the guardians of a school-age child living in their household. All interviews were completed between February 28 and April 17, 2014.

America After 3PM is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Noyce Foundation, with additional support from the Heinz Endowments, The Robert Bowne Foundation and the Samueli Foundation.

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This post was provided by The Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.


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