Depending on the type of program and services provided, afterschool programs can access many of the Federal funding resources that support youth. Below, we provide detailed information on the largest federal funding sources that support afterschool programs. To search for specific Federal funding opportunities visit our grants.gov search. Many states also have funding available for afterschool programs that may be nestled within educational budgets or social service and community development agencies.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) is the only federal funding source that exclusively supports afterschool programs. The purpose of 21CCLC is to support community learning centers that provide students with a broad array of academic enrichment services, including tutoring, homework help, and community service, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities. The Department of Education awards grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs), which then manage statewide competitions to grant funds to eligible organizations.
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides childcare vouchers to subsidize the cost of care for low-income families as well as funds for state childcare quality improvement initiatives. States may choose to use these funds to support initiatives to improve the quality and availability of school-age care, such as training programs or capacity-building grants for afterschool providers.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds, which provide financial support for low-income families, may also be used to support afterschool programs in ways consistent with one or more of the four purposes of the TANF program. States may either directly spend TANF funds on afterschool programs and initiatives, or states can transfer up to 30 percent of their federal TANF allocation to the CCDF. TANF funds transferred to CCDF are subject to all of the CCDF rules and requirements, and can be used to expand out-of-school time capacity-building and quality-enhancement efforts. Direct TANF spending can provide states with additional flexibility when it comes to afterschool care. For example, funds can support services for older youth and can support programs as well as individual subsidies for children.
Federal Food and Nutrition Programs may support snacks or meals for afterschool program participants. Afterschool programs may be able to receive reimbursements from one of four different food and nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: the National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks, the Child and Adults Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the School Breakfast Program. Reimbursement from these programs can be used to free up funds already spent on meals and snacks to support other program components.
21st Century Community Learning Centers: Inspiring Learning. Supporting Families. Earning Results. (PDF, 4 pages)
This brief on 21st Century Community Learning Centers from the Afterschool Alliance provides an overview of what this programming provides and the benefits.
Other Resources on this Topic
Tools & Guides