After school programs are today taking advantage of the increase in attention at both the state and Federal levels. Before the COVID-19 disaster, three children were waiting in line for every child successfully enrolled in an afterschool program.
Nevertheless, attention is being given to both sides as Congress and local governments begin to take action. Howbeit, the massive expenses that come with starting and managing after school programs remain the biggest barrier to entry for most.
For instance, it can be very challenging to come up with the startup cost of this sort of business. Nevertheless, external funding remains a vital part of the success of any program, and as such, it’s necessary to understand where to find it.
Available Grants to Start an After-School Program
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21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC)
Note that this program was designed to aid afterschool programs that serve primarily Title I students and offer programming that strives to advance student academic achievement. In the United States, this grant is administered by your state education agency, such as your department of education. They are most often awarded as direct support grants for three to five years.
Qualified applicants (although dependent also on state-specific criteria) include schools, community-based organizations, and public or private organizations.
How to Apply
You will have to contact the state department tasked with administering this grant in your state.
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), formerly Child Care and Development Block Grant
The essence of this program is to help low-income families with child care for children up to age 12. Keep in mind that this grant is administered by your state’s social services agency; however, it can easily be accessed via subsidies or direct program support, depending on your state.
Although this will vary from one state to another, note that applicants will most often include schools, community-based organizations, and public or private organizations.
How to Apply
To understand how to apply, utilize the locator tool to get contact information for State and Territorial Child Care Subsidy Agencies. You can also utilize the Tribal TANF locator tool to get contact information for Tribal Child Care Subsidy Agencies.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
Over the years, this program has focused on helping needy families with children, promoting job preparation and work, limiting out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and bolstering the formation of two-parent families. Keep in mind that States have a lot of flexibility when it comes to utilizing TANF funds and many, such as Illinois, have done well by using them for afterschool.
Qualified applicants vary by state-specific plans for using the funds.
How to Apply
You will want to reach out to the agency overseeing afterschool in your state to find the right application information.
Title I (of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965)
The primary objective of this program is to make available support services for disadvantaged students. Same as with most other grants noted above, this grant is administered by your state education agency, such as your Department of Education.
Aside from the fact that the funds can be used for a wide range of programming, note that it can also be used for afterschool.
Qualifying applicants include school districts and other local education agencies.
How to Apply
You will have to contact the state department tasked with administering this grant in your state
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation strives to bolster the national infrastructure of organizations that are working to boost the quality of OST programs for children. They make available grants to people helping to strengthen the capacity of OST networks and nonprofit groups who help to solidify the sharing of research and communications strategies throughout this network.
You will also want to participate in a funding scheme meant to improve OST quality and innovation, and these grants are aimed at organizations researching the impact of OST programs on children.
To be eligible, you have to be an organization that supports strategic communications targeted at bolstering access to programs and summer learning events at state and national levels.
How to Apply
If you’re looking to send in an idea to the foundation for funding, you will have to first complete a letter of inquiry (LOI) form. Your LOI will make it possible for program staff to determine the relevance of your proposed project to the programs as well as furnish you with advice on whether to submit a full proposal.
Truth be told, a good number of after-school programs depend on external funding sources to stay in, but finding an external grant is only the first step. You must seek ways to diversify your funding sources early because it ensures that your after-school programs can create paths for long-term sustainability.