By Susan Frey
A survey of after-school program providers found that 29 percent of respondents – including large programs such as LA’s BEST and THINK Together – say they are likely to close in the next two years without an increase in the daily reimbursement rate from the state.
More than 86 percent of providers said they were having trouble providing quality staff, and two-thirds said their programs had a waiting list, according to the survey by the Oakland-based advocacy group Partnership for Children & Youth.
Each year, more than 400,000 students in over 4,000 elementary and middle schools participate in these programs, which are located primarily in high-poverty neighborhoods. The programs offer tutoring, sports and enrichment activities such as arts and science projects. They also provide a safe place for elementary and middle school children while their parents are working.