3 Ways Afterschool Programs Are Funded

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Manuel Zavala
student hires how are afterschool programs funded

Afterschool programs provide a space for students to learn, play, and grow. Not only do they provide a wealth of benefits for the children participating, but also for the parents who know their kids are in a safe environment while they are working. There are a variety of programs offered—whether it be through the school, community, or private organizations. Each of these programs have different sources of funding, which allow them to offer a diverse range of activities and services to meet the needs and interests of the children and families they serve. The funding is used for purposes such as hiring qualified staff, purchasing necessary resources and materials, and financing transportation services. According to the California AfterSchool Network, 95% of programs say that “they may be able to serve more students or operate more sites if public funding increases.” This article will cover the 3 different types of funding that make afterschool programs possible. 

Federal Funding

In California, 46% of public schools offer programs that are state or federally funded. These programs all have an academic component to them, as an effort to help close the achievement gap in low-income communities. Federal funding makes programs like the National School Lunch Program, Head Start Program, and YouthBuild Program possible. 

The only federal funding source that exclusively supports afterschool programs is The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC). These programs not only help students meet state and local academic standards, but also offer activities for youth development. Over the course of 25 years, the 21CCLC currently has over 10,652 centers that serve approximately 965,000 students and over 200,000 families. 

Community Partnerships

Another way afterschool programs receive funding is through community partnerships, which can take various forms. While monetary funding is a crucial element to maintaining these programs, there are other ways that the community can offer support—broadening access to resources that would be otherwise unavailable to afterschool programs operating on limited budgets being one. For example, members of the community could donate sports equipment or art supplies for afterschool sports and art programs. They could also share their expertise by hosting workshops or mentorship programs that will provide students with unique learning opportunities.

One of the key benefits of community partnerships is that they help to foster strong connections between afterschool programs and the communities they serve. The locality of these partners lends them important insights that can inform how these programs are run. Afterschool programs that work closely with local organizations can better understand the needs and interests of the families and tailor their programming to best encourage students’ academic and personal growth. 

Private Funding

Private funding can help fill in the gaps when public funding falls short. This type of funding typically comes from individual donors, foundations, or corporate sponsors. With private backing, afterschool programs have more funds to expand their services and resources. This ensures better programming and activities for students to enjoy. Securing private funding can be extremely beneficial to afterschool programs, as they would not have to rely solely on public funding—which is subject to budget constraints and government actions. However, private funding is not always feasible or accessible, and it is also important to carefully evaluate the potential impact of accepting such funding. Programs should consider whether there are requirements or guidelines to how the funds should be used and whether they align with their values and goals. 

Student Hires Afterschool Programs

At Student Hires, we place a strong emphasis on helping students excel both inside and outside of the classroom. Our programs aim to provide students with the right resources to do well academically and to prepare students in various areas of career development. We have several programs ranging from K-12 after-school/summer programs to workforce development programs. In line with the conversation around extracurriculars, we also offer enrichment programs that allow students to explore their creative passions. Contact us to learn more about how we can create a custom-tailored program to meet your needs.


Afterschool programs are essential to many students’ educational experience; they play a vital role in providing academic and social opportunities—particularly to students from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds. Thus, it is important to understand how these programs are being funded and to explore ways to support them. Parents and community members can help identify areas where additional support or resources may be needed and reach out to potential funders or partners. This could involve applying for a federal grant, conducting community outreach to solicit donations, or even exploring other funding opportunities. There are a myriad of ways to support afterschool programs, so it is no longer a matter of how, but when.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

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