A high-quality workforce is essential to providing afterschool programs that lead to positive outcomes for children and youth. The afterschool workforce includes a diverse group of afterschool workers, youth workers, credentialed teachers, social workers and other professionals, with varying levels of education and experience.
- The workforce is generally well-educated. Two-thirds of afterschool staff have a 2-year college degree or higher and 55 percent have a 4-year degree or higher.
- Many afterschool staff work part-time and hold multiple jobs. Twenty-seven percent of full-time and 53 percent of part-time staff hold a second job.
- Eighty percent of afterschool staff report that they are happy with their job and find the work fulfilling.
- Many see a job in afterschool as supplemental or temporary, and yearly turnover may be as high as 40 percent.
- Pay is the primary factor that causes afterschool staff to leave the field.1
States and communities have worked to build and strengthen professional development systems for the afterschool workforce by:
- Providing scholarships for education and training
- Establishing training registries
- Defining core knowledge and competencies for afterschool workers
- Offering credentials and certifications for staff that further their education
It is also essential to take a more collaborative approach that leverages existing professional development opportunities within the community instead of trying to organize by themselves. Additionally, websites such as the Department of Education’s You for Youth site provide online training and resources to afterschool professionals.
You for Youth
This website from the Department of Education provides free online professional learning and technical assistance for 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant programs.
National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE)
This website provides training and technical assistance to the state, territory, and tribal agencies and their networks. The goal of NCASE is to ensure that school-age children in families of low income have increased access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning experiences that contribute to their overall development and academic achievement.
1 Yohalem, Pitman, & Edwards, 2010
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