New Report: Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs

Posted by on February 2, 2009

High quality out-of-school time can play an important role in the development of children and youth.

So we are pleased to tell you about three new features that can help you estimate the cost of high quality out-of-school time programs in the U.S., and learn more about how cities are funding them. We hope they will prove valuable to policymakers, program administrators and others who want to provide families with OST services that make a real difference in children’s lives.

Based on a rigorous study of 111 diverse, quality programs in six U.S. cities, the report, The Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs, fills what has been a significant knowledge gap in the OST field by offering a data-filled exploration of the cost of high quality after-school and summer services.

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Out-of-school time (OST) programs are increasingly expected to be of high enough quality to produce real benefits for children, but until now there has been little information on what such quality programming costs. This groundbreaking report fills that gap, providing a data-filled examination of the costs of 111 diverse, quality OST programs in six cities. The report finds that costs vary widely depending on a range of factors from program goals to times of operation and the ages of the children served. The report is also distinctive because it looks at the full costs of programming, including non-cash contributions OST operators often depend on such as free-of-charge space for programming.

To bring these findings to life, Wallace and the report’s research team also created an online “OST cost calculator” on Wallace’s website to help users calculate the costs of various options for high-quality OST programs. To visit the site – which includes the cost calculator, examples of program costs and options, quality strategies and other resources – click here.

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