Despite demand soaring to an all-time high this past year, a new data mapping tool created by the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance (KYOSA) and PolicyMap, reveals that most out-of-school time (OST) programs are unaffordable for working families in Kentucky.
The tool, called the KYOSA Data Explorer, was launched back in late October, and shows just how few options there are for low- to moderate-income working families here in our state – especially those living in rural areas. The tool allows users to map the locations of all currently known OST programs in Kentucky (shown as points on the map), then filter those points based on a number of options, such as whether or not a program is fee-based or accepts Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) funds. Points can also be overlayed with a number of different data layers available in the tool on topics such as demographics, and incomes and spending, and education.
Based on 2019 data from Child Care Aware, the cost of enrolling just one school-age child in a center-based OST program full-time averages around $9,000 annually in Kentucky – just shy of what it would cost for one year of tuition at one of Kentucky’s 4-year public universities. More recent data from the Afterschool Alliance’s 2020 America After 3PM survey finds that Kentucky parents spend, on average, $117.90 a week per child for afterschool programs alone.
Now, with this tool, users are able to take a closer look at what programs are available in their area and see how they stack up against the needs of their communities. Adding Kentucky’s OST programs to the map and color coding them as either fee-based or non-fee-based, then layering the points over aggregated Census data available in the tool that show median household incomes and child poverty rates for specific geographic areas, it becomes painfully obvious how great the need is for more non-fee-based OST programs in Kentucky.
FIGURE 1: Out-of-school time supply (fee-based and non-fee-based) and estimated median household income in Kentucky by county
FIGURE 2: Out-of-school time supply (fee-based and non-fee-based) and percent of people under 18 in poverty in Kentucky by county: