Nebraska was ranked a Top 10 State for Afterschool based on the largest national household survey ever conducted to gauge parent satisfaction and support for afterschool programs.
The Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM survey put Nebraska as No. 8 (seven spots ahead of the Huskers in the first College Playoff Series Poll) in the nation. This top 10 ranking stems largely from the high number of hours youth spend in programs and parents’ high satisfaction with their child’s afterschool program’s safe environment and overall quality. In fact, Nebraska is first in the nation with the number of hours that youth spend in after school programs—an average of nearly 10 hours per week.
America After 3PM revealed that 57,201 youth in Nebraska, or 18% of all K-12 youth statewide, participate in an afterschool program. Yet 81,887 youth would be enrolled if a program was available to them.
The survey also found that in Nebraska, 22% (71,983) of K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school—these youth are unsupervised after school for an average of 8.15 hours per week. These numbers showcase the need for greater access to after school programs for all of Nebraska’s youth.
With 77% of Nebraska’s parents supporting public funding for afterschool programs, there remains more work to be done to ensure that all children in Nebraska are able to take part in an afterschool program that keeps them safe, inspires learning and supports working parents.
California was the top-ranked state followed by Washington, D.C., Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee and Hawaii.
“Nebraska has made great progress creating afterschool opportunities for its children, and can be proud of that,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “But there’s no question that more work remains. Most parents in the state who want their child in a program can’t find one that works for them, and that needs to change. Every Nebraska family that needs an afterschool program should have access to one.”
“We have important building blocks for future progress already in place in Nebraska,” said Jeff Cole, Network Lead of Beyond School Bells. “The survey found that 97% of parents with children in afterschool programs are satisfied with the program their child attends. Also encouraging is the rock-solid support for public funding of afterschool. Seventy-seven percent of Nebraska parents in the survey said they support public funding for afterschool programs.”
Nebraska’s survey results closely mirror the national survey findings, which include:
- Participation in afterschool programs is up nationally, with 18 percent of the nation’s youth in programs (10.2 million), up from 15 percent in 2009 (8.4 million).
- At the same time, unmet demand has increased. The parents of nearly 20 million youth say they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if a program were available to them. The existing supply of afterschool programs is meeting barely one-third of demand.
- Demand is greatest among African American, Hispanic and low-income families.
- Both participation in afterschool and unmet demand for afterschool are much higher among children from low-income households than higher-income households, and higher among African American and Hispanic children than white children.
- The number of unsupervised youth in the hours after school remains high. Across the nation, more than 800,000 elementary students, and 2.2 million middle school students spend time alone and unsupervised during the after school hours. In all, 11.3 million youth — one in five — are unsupervised in the afternoons.
- Parental satisfaction with afterschool remains high.
- Support for public funding of afterschool programs remains strong. More than four in five parents report that they favor public funding for afterschool opportunities. This support is across all geographic regions.
- Support for public funding is bipartisan, with 91 percent of parents who identify as Democrats, 86 percent Independents and 80 percent of Republicans favoring public funding for programs.
The survey data was collected by a national survey research firm, Shugoll Research, which surveyed 37,720 households across the country, receiving 13,709 responses. In Nebraska, 200 households participated in the survey. View Nebraska’s results now. Or, review the full national report.