Information on setting up a program and the planning process is provided to the school or community contact. The regional licensing/development worker is available to help facilitate a community-planning meeting to start the planning process. It is important this meeting include members of the community, such as business leaders, child care providers, parents, PTA representatives, city council members, extension educators, school administrators, teachers and other potential partners.
Community Needs Survey
If a community needs assessment has not been done to determine the need for a program, the planning committee should complete this early on. Those surveyed should include the business community, the school community, parents and students (if possible). Information on appropriate survey instruments can be obtained from the regional licensing worker or state office.
Grant funding is available (if funding allows) on a competitive basis to assist in starting OST programs. Funding is based on program needs as shown by the community survey and planning, type of program offered, numbers served and projected expense and revenue comparisons. Grant applications are usually available in November with a grant deadline of February. Please keep in mind that the planning process should begin much sooner.
Awards are based on program start-up for the following school year. Grantees are eligible to apply and receive a grant for up to three years, with a lesser grant award each year. All programs must build in program fees and work toward self-sustainability after the third grant year.
Some schools may be eligible to apply for the 21st Community First Learning Center grants from the Department of Education and may want to check into this grant option.
Technical Assistance and Program Support
Licensing/Development workers are available on a regional basis to help with the planning process for development of an OST program. We encourage programs to become licensed so low-income parents can access public funds to help pay their child care costs. Regional OST Support Specialists are also available to help plan quality after-school programs. They can provide on-site and phone technical assistance, training and resource information to programs.
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