Kids need a safe, fun place to go beyond their own home outside of school hours. Youth enrichment programs and afterschool child care helps kids thrive and succeed. But, for every child attending a quality afterschool program in Idaho, four others cannot. Experts estimated that there are more than 40,000 kids in Idaho who cannot find a suitable program in their community even though their families would be excited to have attend.
The major barrier to families looking for afterschool programs is the lack of sustainable funding for those programs. Even though hundreds of millions of new dollars are flowing into Idaho schools in 2023 – less than 2% of that is going towards afterschool programs.
ION has invested $1.5 million this year in Idaho afterschool and summer programs. But we can’t do it alone. It is time for school boards and administrators to address this critical gap in youth opportunities and tap into the Power of Partnerships with Afterschool to expand funding into the future.