We will include the responses of other leaders in a second blog post.
Co-Founder & President
The National Center
on Time & Learning
Our biggest and most daunting challenge in my opinion is on the funding side. Our roughly 4,500 publicly funded expanded learning programs are still operating with $7.50 per child per day, a rate that was set in 2006 and with no cost-of-living increase policy in place. The cost of doing business has clearly risen since then, and on top of that, California has passed a minimum wage increase that will affect the staffing costs of many of our providers across the state. The field will have to get organized to raise awareness about this brewing crisis and assertively pursue solutions."
President and CEO
One big opportunity right now is the growing recognition that social, emotional and creative vitality should be a part of a real education. Afterschool has always valued these realms, and now has the opportunity to be the tail that wags the dog, showing other educational players how and why to create warm and engaging environments where young people have agency, make real choices, and are heard."
|Karen Pittman, |
Co-Founder, President, and CEO
Forum for Youth Investment
The afterschool movement has been steadily supplementing value-add arguments focused primarily on 'when and where' with new arguments focused on 'what and how'. We now have consensus on quality standards and improvement policies. The future of the movement, from where I sit, hinges on our ability to articulate a practical theory of how young people gain the transferable skills we value and have practical common measures of both the practices that add up to 'quality' and the skills that add up to 'readiness'." (Note: Karen Pittman is working on a paper which will say more about how to do this. We will provide information on how to access this paper in an upcoming blog post - Sam Piha).
"If afterschool and summer programs are to be successful in the long-run, they
|Sam Piha, Founder and Co-Director|
Temescal Associates and
The LIAS Project
Lastly, we have new evidence and research telling us how important it is that we promote character development, social and emotional skills, and positive growth mindsets. These things are vital to a child's education and later success. They also fall into the sweet spot of afterschool and summer programs but it requires that we are intentional about promoting these things."
"The most important challenge facing the afterschool field is increasing the availability of quality afterschool programs for children and families. We know that for every one child currently in a program, there are 2 more children whose parents say they would enroll their children if more programs were available. Research shows that quality afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire learning and helping working parents keep working and be more productive while at work. Every child and family that wants an afterschool program should have access to a quality program that meets their needs. We have a long way to go, but we have made significant progress over the last ten years. With an afterschool field that is much stronger now than ever before and with strong parent support for public funding for afterschool, I am confident that progress will continue."