Afterschool Programs Support the Wellness and Quality of Maryland's Workforce Today and Tomorrow
Keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.
Help Champion the Call for More and Better Programs Across the State
State funding of the Maryland Afterschool and Summer Opportunity Fund (MASOF) was cut in 2009 resulting in fewer after school programs and a loss of opportunities for youth throughout the state. Maryland now has fewer out of school programs overall and ranks in the bottom 10 states nationwide in terms of the number of programs offered.
In 2014, just 16% of Maryland students (K-12) participated in afterschool programs. However, research shows that 36% of children (280,319) in Maryland would participate if a program were available.
Afterschool Programs Help Maryland Business and Working Parents Thrive
The hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the summer months have long been recognized as a vulnerable time for youth. When young people are connected to out-of-school time programs, these hours can be transformed from "vulnerable hours" to "valuable hours" of opportunity – for the kids that participate, for their parents and for the businesses where their parents are employed.
While parents are at work, quality after school programs excite children for learning, spark their curiosity, and connect school-day lessons with their everyday lives. They have the capacity to strengthen students' engagement in school and help them set higher educational aspirations for themselves - and build 21st-century skills they will ultimately need to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.
Afterschool programs benefit parents while at work
- Provide safe, supervised opportunities for children
- Reduce anxiety during the hours after the final school bell rings
- Reduce distracting phone calls and texts from unsupervised children
- Contribute to increased employee engagement, productivity and wellness
Over the past decade, existing after school programs in Maryland have become increasingly sophisticated — integrating STEM and the Arts — and parents' satisfaction with available after school programs is at an all-time high:
- 64% agree that after school programs help give working parents peace of mind about their children when they are at work.
- 69% agree that after school programs help parents keep their jobs.
- 87% of Maryland’s parents say they are satisfied with their child’s after school program.
86% of adults surveyed in Maryland support public funding for afterschool programs.
Every $1 invested in Maryland afterschool programs leads to a return on investment (ROI) of $3.36
An investment in quality afterschool programs is an investment in raising graduation rates, lowering juvenile crime, and strengthening Maryland’s future generations. Research shows that quality afterschool programs can reduce chronic absenteeism in school, which has been associated with reducing student dropout rates. In doing so, afterschool programs contribute to increased societal gains from graduates’ taxable earnings AND increased societal savings by avoiding juvenile and adult incarceration.
What are the Barriers for Maryland Parents who want to enroll their child in a program?
There are not enough programs that meet the needs of parents, families and the community throughout Maryland – programs that specifically:
- Operate on a schedule that supports working families
- Are accessible to youth by providing transportation OR are school-based and therefore do not require transportation
- Are affordable within the budget of working families
What is the Financial Impact of Out of School Time Programs on Working Parents?
The annual cost for OST programs ranges from $500 - $4000 per year per young person.
A 2014 survey reported that in Maryland, $138 was the average weekly cost of afterschool programs. For summer programs, that figure jumps to an average cost of $306 weekly. This data only includes parents who report that they pay a fee for their child’s afterschool program.
The Washington Post reported in 2014 that costs of child care is "second only to the mortgage or rent in the average family budget."
Who is MOST Network?
Maryland Out of School Time Network (MOST) is a non-profit statewide youth development organization, dedicated to bringing more and better opportunities in the out of school hours to all of Maryland's young people. MOST is one of 50 statewide afterschool networks made possible by the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and local matching investment. MOST's goals include:
- Create a sustainable structure of statewide, regional and local partnerships, particularly school community partnerships, focused on supporting policy development at all levels.
- Support the development and growth of statewide policies that will secure the resources that are needed to sustain new and existing school-based/school-linked after school programs.
- Support statewide systems to ensure programs are of high quality.
- Build a systemic infrastructure statewide (sySTEM) that increases access to high quality STEM programs in the out-of-school hours for students under-represented in STEM higher education programs and careers.
- Combat childhood obesity, childhood hunger and other chronic health problems through a broad based campaign to support out-of-school time (OST) programs in adopting and implementing national best practices around food access, increased physical activity and nutrition education.