It's great news for after school and students across New York State! This year the Advantage statewide funding stream for after school has increased from $1375 per student to $2000 per student! This is a huge win for providers and kids across the state as additional dollars will go towards supporting families, kids and staff who depend on out of school time programs.
Over the last several years, as members of the Greater Rochester After School Alliance, we've been working with out of school time providers and champions across the state to share with our local delegation about the importance of out of school time.
That work has been paying off! Last year the Greater Rochester After School Alliance Advocacy Committee recognized that to improve quality out of school time, it meant we had to increase funding to make that happen. New York State when they issue funds to programs sets an amount each program must put towards each student. Unfortunately, in the past that amount has been severely underfunded to support a high-quality program. In fact, the Advantage After School funding stream in the past only provided $1375 per student. Significantly below national best practices that recommend a high-quality program should have $4200 per child.
We all know that out of school time programs like after school, summer school, and before school are critical to whole child health. They foster healthy relationships between children and adults and support healthy habit building. They also support working families and the future workforce by providing a place for kids to just be kids and teaching them the important building blocks that set them up for success later in life.
With that in mind, we went to Albany, wrote our elected officials, shared over 450 postcards from kids, parents and after school staff, told our local elected officials that enough is enough! And now we're happy to share that all our collective efforts have paid off!
This year the Advantage After School funding stream increased the per student rate by 45%! This is a huge win for providers and kids across the state as the additional dollars will go towards supporting families, kids, and staff who depend on out of school time programs.
Say THANK YOU to your local delegation and the Acting Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services for their efforts to improve high quality out of school time programs across the state: