Based on a detailed examination of 111 high-quality afterschool and summer programs in six cities, this groundbreaking report estimates the costs of strong programming and finds widespread cost differences. The cost variables stem from program factors including program hours, youth-staff ratios, age groups served and types of facilities—each of which represents significant choices made by program leaders.

In addition, the report finds that programs typically rely on a range of funding sources, including in-kind contributions. Moreover, per-child costs in larger programs are not necessarily less expensive than those in smaller programs.

The data and findings in the report can help afterschool and summer managers as well as policymakers and funders understand the range of costs for a wide variety of programs, customize their own programs to suit local conditions, more accurately estimate the funding needed to expand high-quality programs and clarify their thinking about how to coordinate public and private funding.

An online cost calculator can based on the study and updated in 2015 can help users determine the costs of various OST options.

 Points of Interest

  • In 2015 dollars, the daily per-slot cost of high-quality afterschool programming for elementary and middle-school children in a typical U.S. city ranged from $14 to $31.
    Study: Average cost for high-quality #elem #afterschool programs = $14–$31/slot (in 2015 $$).
  • Expanding afterschool or summer program size to include more children can produce economies of scale, but only up to a point. The reason? Past a certain threshold, high-quality programs hire more staff members, which ratchets up costs.
    Study: Enrolling more students in #afterschool programs to produce “economies of scale” backfires after a certain point.
  • Although most costs in high-quality afterschool and summer programs are covered through out-of-pocket expenditures, in-kind contributions are an important source of funding for many programs.
    In-kind contributions: an important funding source for many high-quality #afterschool & summer programs.

 Supplementary Materials