Top Afterschool Program Grants: A Comprehensive List for 2023
As 2022 draws to a close, the success of Afterschool, better known as Out-of-School Time (OST) grant programs leaves us with an optimistic outlook for the following year. Out-of-School Time Programs refer to education and enrichment programs that fall outside of the traditional school hours or extended periods where school is not in session. With Federal funds increasing every year, it’s looking like a brighter future for both OST programs and the research and development that supports them. Grants for OST programs come in all shapes and sizes, and with a little nudge in the right direction, you’ll be able to find one or more that’s suitable for your goals.
If you’re looking for Out-of-School Time program grants, we’ve got some starting points for you right here, including state, Federal, and private sources. First, some context.
The Rise of State Grants for Afterschool Programs
Afterschool programs are benefitting from an increase in attention both at the state and Federal level and for some, this has been a long time coming. Before the pandemic, three children were waiting in line for every child successfully enrolled in an afterschool program. Thankfully, this is being tackled from both sides as congress and local governments begin to take action.
Cost remains the biggest barrier to entry for most children when it comes to extracurricular program participation. Transport represents another significant issue, but is one that may become less so as restrictions are lifted. Regardless, external funding remains a necessary part of the success of any program, and as such, it’s important to know where to find it.
More than 27 states funded OST programs in 2019 before the pandemic interrupted the entire sector. Since then, programs are back on the menu, and there are some notable examples from before and after the lockdowns went into effect:
Before the pandemic, one of the major blind-spots in both state and Federal spending on OST programs related to transportation. With restrictions on most of the ways these funds can be spent, it was impossible to use the money to cover transport-related issues.
This meant, if the 20-year old bus that carried your kids to their OST programs broke down, regardless of how much you have to spend on the program, there might not be enough to actually get your kids to the location. Thankfully, those caveats were removed as part of the pandemic relief, and so it’s now important to check that transport is included in the funds you’re applying for when planning your programs.
Check-in with your state to see what sort of OST program grants you might be entitled to, or check out our list of Federal funds below for more options.
Top Federal OST Program Grants Available Now
The US Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services provide funds for Out-of-School Time programs at the Federal level. Here are some of the funding sources through which these funds are allocated:
There are other Federal funding sources available that aren’t specifically for afterschool programs but can be used to support them.
For example, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) provides funds for any of its four goals:
Should any of your OST programs align with these goals, TANF may be able to support them with grants.
Consider also the Federal Food and Nutrition Programs, which might be able to support OST programs when it comes to catering.
Other Notable OST Program Grants
For specific Federal or private funding, there are multiple options, depending on the quality of your programs, their purpose, and your location. Private funds are also available, and while it’s impossible to list all sources, here are a couple of bonus examples to draw inspiration from.
For programs specifically revolving around violence reduction, it’s possible to submit an application for funds from the OJJDP. Your program should:
And your application should include a strategy for how you expect to achieve this.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supports the national infrastructure of organizations dedicated to increasing the quality of OST programs for children.
Their grants are offered to people helping to strengthen the capacity of OST networks and nonprofit groups who support the sharing of research and communications strategies throughout this network.
They’re also offering funding to improve OST quality and innovation, and these grants are aimed at organizations conducting research on the impact of OST programs on children. Finally, they provide funding to support efforts to inform the development of effective policies and partnerships to increase OST programs.
These funds go to organizations that support strategic communications aimed at improving access to programs and summer learning events at state and national levels.
Depending on the location, goal, and type of Out-of-School Time programs you’re looking to run, there is bound to be a funding source available to you. From state grants to Federal funding, and even private organizations, there are sources for all kinds of programs, and if there isn’t a specific fund for what you’re doing, there are a few that could help support it through catering or sponsorship of smaller components of the larger project.
Check out your local resources, and peruse the list of Federal options to see what’s right for your program. Check out our organizational and data reporting platform at Curacubby to help you to collect vital information while saving time and money running your OST Programs. This all-in-one platform allows you to handle registration, invoices, payments, attendance/demographic tracking, State reporting and more, consolidating a lot of the work so that you have more time to spend where it counts.
Our experts are on standby, connect with us today to discover how Curacubby can help you gain access to grants in 2023!