A robust child care system that provides a continuum of high-quality care from infancy through school-age is essential for meeting the needs of kids and families today. That system includes afterschool, summer, and other school-age child care programs that serve children ages 5-12 when school is out.
School-Age Child Care Overview
Why is affordable, quality school-age child care so important for Kentucky’s kids, families, and communities?
Watch this video from our partners at the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) to learn more!
Federal Supports for Afterschool and Summer Child Care in Kentucky
There are two major sources of federal funding and
supports for afterschool and summer child care: the
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and the
21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC)
This data profile from NCASE focuses primarily on the Child Care and Development Fund. It includes state-level data on the number of school-age children in Kentucky served through CCDF as well what CCDF policies and best practices are being used in Kentucky to support school-age child care access and quality.
Cost and lack of programs limit participation.
The lack of affordable, quality school-age child care programs in Kentucky means thousands of children are missing out on life-changing learning experiences, some parents are working less, and businesses see the cost in lost productivity. For every child in Kentucky enrolled in an afterschool program, 4 MORE are waiting to get in. The KYOSA Data Explorer is an interactive mapping tool that shows which communities currently have limited or no access to these programs.
Kentucky families value and rely on afterschool programs.
- 94% of Kentucky parents are satisfied with their child’s program.
- 80% of Kentucky parents report their program helps them keep their job.
There is strong, bipartisan support for greater investment in afterschool.
83% of Kentucky parents support public funding for afterschool programs.
- Republicans: 81%
- Democrats: 88%
- Independents: 91%
2023-2025 Policy Priorities
Much work is needed to ensure that every Kentucky community has access to high-quality school-age child care programs that meet the needs of young people and working families. This set of legislative and administrative priorities provides a roadmap for how we’ll do it.
Click the “+,” located on the top right-hand corner of each box, to view recommended actions.
- Expand the Child Care Advisory Council’s (CCAC’s) membership to ensure equitable representation, capacity, and resource sharing across all types of child care in Kentucky, especially school-age care.
- Ensure that the needs of school-age providers and the families they serve are meaningfully addressed and incorporated in future Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State Plans.
- Establish an Administrative Regulations Review Committee (ARRC) to ensure state child care licensing standards, youth camp regulations, and exemptions are clear, reasonable, and appropriate for Kentucky’s diverse landscape of school-age programs and the children they serve.
- Ensure the final administrative regulations associated with HB 499, which establishes the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership program, support families’ child care needs through school-age.
- Update Kentucky All STARS to include evidence-based school-age quality metrics under each domain.
- Train licensors to work in school-age environments and to understand what safe, quality school-age environments look like.
- Invest in partnerships that enable the Lead Agency to offer relevant and ongoing training and technical assistance (TTA) to school-age providers and staff.
KYOSA stands ready to be a thought partner on school-age quality measurement, training and technical assistance (TTA), and professional development supports.
- Finalize and adopt the proposed School-Age Youth Development credential.
- Ensure wage increases and benefits made possible to front-line school-age program staff through federal COVID-relief funding can be sustained past impending funding cliffs by creating a dedicated source of state funding for afterschool and summer programs serving K-12 students.
- Revise the Kentucky Career Lattice to include relevant pathways for school-age professionals at each level.
- Require all child care license-exemptions to be verified by and recorded with the Kentucky Division of Regulated Child Care through a formal application process.
- Update Kentucky’s current public child care search tool to align with “best practices,” which include integrating both licensed and license-exempt programs into such tools.
- Ensure state child care data systems allow key data points, such as the number of children a provider serves, to be summarized by age group.
Note: The above priorities were developed by the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance (KYOSA) based on feedback from KYOSA’s School-Age Child Care Advisory Council, a diverse group of school-age child care stakeholders representing nearly 30 organizations and agencies across all regions of Kentucky.
Appalachian Early Childhood Network
Ashland Area YMCA Child Care
Barren County Family YMCA
Buckner Elementary Bear Care
Burns Elementary Afterschool Program
Cairo Child Care
Centerfield Wildcats Cub Club for Children
Child Care Aware of KY
Creatively Invented, LLC
Daviess County Public Schools
Hopkins County Family YMCA
Jessamine County Schools Afterschool & Summer Camp Programs
Johnson County Schools
Kentucky Division of Child Care
Kentucky Environmental Education Council
KSU Promising Youth Center for Excellence
KY Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs
Mayfield/Graves County YMCA
Our Angels Child Care Center
Paris/Bourbon County YMCA
Partners for Rural Impact
R.C. Durr YMCA
Somerset School-Age Child Care Program
St. John Afterschool Adventures Kids Club
Tamarack Afterschool Program
YMCA of Greater Louisville
Youth Enrichment Program – Buckner Bear Care