Whether school-based or community-based, quality out-of-school time (OST) involves parents and utilizes community resources. Working with parents and the community does present challenges (lack of time, funding, family issues, etc.), but with proper planning and partnering, parents can become more positively engaged in their child’s learning and development. For some parents, before school or after school time is their only connection to what their child is learning during the day.
Low income families and neighborhoods are especially dependent on these opportunities and programs. Even in challenging economic times where parents and schools are cutting back, quality of care and staff, and programs are still the top priority for parents. OST that collaborates with local schools, educators and the community can share resources to maintain quality.
Quality afterschool and OST support working parents, parents that want to work, and families in multiple ways by: