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Is Citywide Afterschool Coordination Going Nationwide?

An Exploratory Study in Large Cities

This study finds at least 77 of the nation’s 275 largest cities coordinate afterschool programming.
September 2013
A small group of mixed race and gender elementary school children sitting on the floor in a circle in a classroom
  • Author(s)
  • Linda Simkin, Ivan Charner, Caitlin Rose Dailey, Eric Watts, Hannah Taub, and Abidemi Adelaja
  • Publisher(s)
  • FHI 360
Page Count 46 pages


Many larger cities in the United States (at least 77 of the 275 cities with populations of 100,000 or more) coordinate afterschool programming, according to this study. At the same time, less than a quarter of those cities have adopted all of the three key coordination strategies identified by citywide afterschool system building experts, namely: (1) the introduction and use of a data system, (2) citywide standards for the quality of programming and (3) a “coordinating entity” to help the many players in the afterschool arena work together. Specific findings include:

  • Of the 129 cities recruited for the survey, 77 coordinate afterschool programs, 23 do not and 29 could not identify anyone knowledgeable enough about coordination to answer the question.
  • Of the cities that do coordinate afterschool programs, 62 percent use quality standards and 60 percent have a coordinating entity. Only 34 percent have a common data system and only 22 percent have adopted all three strategies.
  • Cities that describe their mayors as “highly committed” were far more likely to see stable or increased funding for afterschool coordination. The majority of cities with mayors who were “not at all” or “slightly” committed provided no funding or decreased funding over the past five years.
  • Forty-four percent of cities with “highly” or “moderately” committed mayors had a common data system, compared with 20 percent of cities with low or no mayoral commitment.

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