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Issue brief

Combining Resources to Support Quality Out-of-School Time Programs

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the largest national child care subsidy program used to support low-income families, yet these subsidies are only one part of the funding picture. In fact, more than 100 federal funding sources can be used to support out-of-school time care. Families and programs often rely on a variety of different public and private funds to make ends meet.

Improving the Quality and Impact of Afterschool and Summer Programs: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

This issue brief summarizes developments in the field including a growing research base, an increased understanding of high quality practice, and system-level efforts to improve quality. It provides recommendations for advancing the field on research and practice.

Summertime and Weight Gain

This issue brief is an interview with Paul von Hippel from Ohio State University; it shares research that children gain weight two to three times faster in the summer months than during the school year. This trend is especially true for African American and Hispanic children. It recommends a public health campaign to get children to eat healthier food in the summer, and is important for summer learning programs. 

Children Set the Pace for Family Activity and Healthy Eating: Family Impacts from Youth Participation in a Before School Physical Activity Program

This research brief summarizes a study of the impact of a before-school physical activity program. The children have physical activities and receive nutrition information in a program that has expanded to 2,200 schools in 4 states. The research found that as a result of involvement, family perceptions and habits on physical activities and nutrition have shifted. 

Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time Settings

This issue brief provides a concise overview of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) approaches that are specific to afterschool, as well as those designed for use across settings. It provides principles and considerations for adapting school-based SEL programs for OST. It is a companion piece to another NCASE library resource, "Navigating SEL from the Inside Out," which reviews 25 SEL programs.  This resource supports resilience.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in the Middle and High School Years

This issue brief reviews the common knowledge of school-based programs designed to build social-emotional competence in middle and high school years. It reviews exemplary programs on skill-focused promotion, academic integration, teaching practices, and organizational reform. While it is focused on implementation in schools, it recognizes the need to explore the role of out-of-school time, and there is great potential for using the curriculum, the teaching practices, and the climate suggestions in OST. 

STEM in the Summer: The Joy of Meaningful Learning

This issue brief provides case studies of best practices in four exemplary summer programs that provide engaging STEM opportunities. The programs in Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, and Kentucky produce positive outcomes on grades, standardized test scores, social-emotional competence, and graduation rates.

Science in the Summertime: A Multi-Layered Learning Experience

This issue brief is an interview with the evaluator of a STEM project with middle and high school tribal youth, working with tribal leaders and STEM professionals on a research project about salmon restoration. The evaluation shows how involving youth in an engaging and authentic research project built their STEM skills in a possible career path. There is a link to the full research report.

The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Nationally, by State, and by Race or Ethnicity

This issue brief uses data from 2016 National Survey of Children's Health to describe the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in children ages birth to 17.  This is important information as children with a higher number of ACEs are at higher risk for negative outcomes for mental health, health, and financial well-being. The brief includes charts of the number of ACEs children have by state, by region, and by race and ethnicity. 

Child Care Deserts: Developing Solutions to Child Care Supply and Demand

This report introduces the concept of child care deserts, where there is limited or no access to high quality child care. The report shares parent perceptions on selecting and using child care and efforts to track supply and demand and find solutions, especially in low-income communities, rural communities, among families of color, those with nontraditional work schedules, with special needs children, and with children who are English language learners.  While focus is on children under age 5, there is relevant information for school-age system planners.