The Florida Afterschool Network produced the ‘State of Afterschool & Summer Learning in Florida’ Report in October 2019. This report explores the landscape of Florida’s afterschool and summer learning programs, and provides context surrounding child welfare and juvenile crime to support community conversations on how the availability of high-quality afterschool helps communities address challenges to ensure youth thrive.
With funding from the Mott Foundation and the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign, as well as technical assistance from the National Conference of State Legislatures, FAN surveyed afterschool and summer learning providers throughout the state and mapped the responses by county.
The GIS maps provide a more comprehensive picture of Florida’s afterschool and summer learning providers, as Florida lacks a centralized system for identifying all out-of-school time learning opportunities for youth statewide. The maps clearly show that Florida’s programs are not geographically diverse enough to provide services to youth across the state. Furthermore, there are only approximately 8,500 afterschool providers in the state, far too few to accommodate Florida’s 2.2 million children between the ages of 5 to 14.
Now more than ever, it is time for Florida to focus on public policy that improves community and student health, safety, education and well-being. We must convene business leaders, policymakers, program providers and parents to thoughtfully create an afterschool system that provides youth a safe and enriching place to go when the school day or school year ends:
• Develop requirements for registration and oversight protocols for summer learning providers to help parents navigate summer learning experiences.
• Create a dedicated Summer Learning Scholarship funding stream for students at greatest risk of school failure.
• Increase public, corporate and local investments in afterschool and summer learning programs.
• Strengthen partnerships at the local, regional and state-level between school districts and community-based programs.
• Increase the number of ‘out-of-school time’ programs that have implemented the Florida Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs and completed the Florida Quality Self-Assessment & Improvement Guide.