New Report Finds Unmet Demand for Afterschool Programs

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A new report finds Just 11 percent of America’s rural children are enrolled in an afterschool program. For every rural child in an afterschool program, four more are waiting to get in. The report, Spiking Demand, Growing Barriers, is based on a household survey conducted by Edge Research for the Afterschool Alliance. It finds a drop in rural children enrolled in afterschool programs from 13 percent, or 1.19 million rural kids, enrolled in 2014 to just 11 percent, or 1.15 million kids, enrolled in 2020. The drop mirrors national trends on afterschool participation as public funding for afterschool programs has not kept up with demand. The new study finds that cost and transportation are significant barriers that prevent many rural parents from enrolling their child in an afterschool program. Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant says, “Increasing access to both afterschool and summer learning programs must be an urgent priority for lawmakers and funders.”

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