The Demand for Both Coverage and Quality in Out-of-School Time
Working parents depend on out-of-school time programs for child care coverage during work hours as well as for academic and social-emotional enrichment. However, what we know about quality afterschool programming is generally viewed through the lens of enrichment alone. What do parents who seek school-age care out of necessity value most about their child’s afterschool or summer program? How do they define quality?
Last year NCASE set out to hear directly from parents and other caregivers on these questions, from the perspective of supporting Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies and their designated networks. The goal was to learn more about how working parents perceive school-age care options, what they value most, and how they choose care that fits the needs of their work schedules.
The stakes are high for so many parents who need flexible, affordable school-age child care in order to work. The purpose of this brief is to illustrate how CCDF bridges the needs of low-income working families with promising practices for out-of-school time, relating the experiences of parents in their own voices.
This document is also available in Spanish.