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ERIC Number: ED498869
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Afterschool Programs Help Working Families. Afterschool Alert. Issue Brief No. 16
Afterschool Alliance
Changing family structures place extra burdens on children, parents and employers. The image of 21st century families is vastly different from that of previous centuries, or even the family image of 50 years ago. While women are still the primary caregivers, either as single mothers or part of a two-parent family, they are entering the workforce in greater numbers than ever. Both men and women are working more hours, and while the work day grows longer for working parents, the school day has not. The gap between work and school schedules amounts to as much as 25 hours per week, which presents working parents with the challenge of finding someone to care for their children while they are at work. Studies show that children are most at risk during the hours after school: the time of day when juvenile crime triples and children are most likely to be involved in risky behavior. While concerns about unsupervised children pressure families, they also affect employers. Polling shows that 87 percent of working mothers say the hours after school are when they are most concerned about their children's safety, and this afterschool stress can lead to distraction that causes lower productivity, high turnover and absenteeism. Quality afterschool programs provide a safe, enriching environment for kids while their parents are still at work, allowing them to focus on work and ultimately improve family life. The movement to provide afterschool for all children, nationwide, is growing and local efforts are providing examples of success, but there remain plenty of gaps in care. Although some large corporations may be able to contribute to the cost of providing quality afterschool care for their employee's families, most businesses find it difficult, if not prohibitive. Healthy families are part of healthy businesses, and investments at all levels, federal to local, and from all sectors, public to private, are crucial to ensuring that America's children do not fall through the cracks while their parents are at work and they are out of school. (Contains 20 endnotes.)
Afterschool Alliance. 1616 H Street NW Suite 820, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-347-1002; Fax: 202-347-2092; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A