As communities and states begin to emerge from lockdowns, afterschool and summer learning programs are developing plans to welcome youth back through their doors. There are significant considerations programs need to undertake in order to successfully and safely reopen. To help afterschool and summer learning programs through this process, we've curated a number of resources, guides, and examples to help you develop a plan to safely care for children and youth.

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A School Year Like No Other Demands a New Learning Day: A Blueprint for How Afterschool Programs & Community Partners Can Help

The most successful school reopening plans will be developed jointly by schools, afterschool programs, community-based organizations, and parents so that together we can ensure our children are learning, safe, engaged, and building academic, social, and emotional skills during the hours their parents are at work. A host of additional resources and local expertise can be tapped to help implement a new learning day and ensure our children reach their full potential.

Statement in support: PDF | Word

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Expanded Learning Programs: Principles for Reopening & Recovery

No matter what shape the school year takes, expanded learning programs will be more essential than ever before. We should not expect schools to pull off the massive and uncharted task of redesigning the learning day on their own -- afterschool and expanded learning partners stand ready to help. Decades of research on afterschool and summer programs reveal a core set of key principles that are essential for successful expanded learning. Use these documents to guide expanded learning policy at the local, state, and federal levels.

Working together, schools, afterschool programs, and community partners can better help all young people, and especially those who have been historically underserved, emerge from this crisis strong, resilient, hopeful, and better prepared to learn.

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Quick Brief: Tools to Help Plan for Summer Programs

Summer during COVID will not look like the summers of the past, but parents will still need safe, supervised places for their kids to go as they return to work and children will still need enrichment, recreation, and time outdoors. Fortunately, national organizations and states have been thinking about how to operate summer camps safely during the pandemic.

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Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs Are Essential for COVID-19 Recovery

The afterschool field is an essential part of the nationwide community response to the coronavirus pandemic, and programs continue to play a critical role throughout recovery as our states reopen for business

National Organization Guidance

American Camp Association – Camp Operations Guide 2020 – The American Camp Association, in partnership with Y of the USA, developed a field guide to help summer camps and summer learning programs safely reopen this summer. The guide includes suggestions for communication with families, health screenings, cleaning and disinfection of facilities, food service, and facilitating student activities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC issued several tools to help afterschool and summer learning programs in reopening programs. Consideration for Youth and Summer Camps includes general guidance on promoting behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ideas for how to ensure students are in a health environment. The CDC also created a flowchart to help programs determine whether or not it is safe to provide programming.

National Summer Learning Association – Summer Learning: A Bridge to Student Success and America’s Recovery – This guide provides resources, best practices, and tools to help afterschool and summer learning program develop long-term, equitable learning strategies, particularly as they navigate challenges caused by COVID-19.

National Occupational Therapy Association – Back to School Guide in the Era of COVID-19 – This resources provides expert advice on how to help children and youth safely transition back to school this fall.

Virtual Programming

If your summer learning program isn't quite ready to open this summer, we have some suggestions for how you can continue to provide virtual learning opportunities, including activity ideas to encourage health and wellness.


If your students are returning to your program in person, providing safe, socially distanced learning activities is a must. Be sure to check out some of these curriculum ideas:

Professional Development

Brush up on your skills and think through new ideas for programming this summer. Many organizations are offering discounted or low-cost professional development opportunities.

Promising Practices for Reopening
Funding Opportunities

Be sure to check out the Afterschool Alliance's list of potential funding opportunities for financial resources that may help your program reopen.

Funding List

State Guidance

State Resource
AL Guidelines for Child Day Care Facilities
AL Guidelines for Day and Overnight Youth Summer Camps
AL Roadmap for Reopening Schools
AK Day Camps
AK Licensed Child Care Facilities
AK Alaska Smart Start 2020 Restart and Reentry Framework Guidance for K-12 Schools
AZ Roadmap for Reopening Schools
AR Ready for Learning
AR Directive Regarding Summer Day Camps
CA Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California's Public Schools
CO Summer School Considerations During COVID-19
CO Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year - A framework for feedback
CT Detailed Guidance for Summer Camps
CT Adapt, Advance, Achieve
DE Youth Sports Reopening
DE Working Groups and Draft
DE Summer School Guidance for Delaware Schools
FL Reopening Florida's Schools and The Cares Act
GA Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Child Care Settings
GA Georgia's Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools
GA Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Day Camp Settings
HI DOE Reopening School Guidelines
ID Protocols for Daycares and Childcare
ID Idaho State Board of Ed - School District and Charter Re-Entry
ID Protocols for Youth Activities
IL Reopening Plan
IL Summer School Guidance for Schools and Districts
IN General Recommended Guidelines for Summer Day Camps
IN Indiana's Considerations for Learning and Safe Schools (CLASS)
IA COVID-19 Childcare Summer Program Guidance
IA Reopening Guidance
IA Childcare Guidance in Response to COVID-19
KY Initial Reopening Guidance for Schools and Districts
KY Reopening Resources
KY Requirements for Childcare Programs
LA Strong Start 2020
LA Guides and Supportive Guidance for Summer School, Camps, and Extracurriculuar Activities
ME Return to Classroom Instruction Framework (draft)
ME Guidance for Summer Programming
ME Guidance for Child Care Providers
MD Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education
MA Initial Fall Reopening Guidance
MI Safe Return to Schools Plan
MI Michigan State University - Reopening School
MI Legislature Return to Learn Plan
MI Supporting Summer Learning, Pandemic or Not
MN MDE Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools
MN Dept of Health Planning Guide for Schools
MN Guidance for Social Distancing in Youth and Student Programs
MS Considerations for Reopening
MO School Board Reentry and Reopening of Schools
MT Re-opening Montana Schools 2020
NE Launch Nebraska
NV Nevada Dept of Ed: Path Foward Plan
NH Reopening Task Force - Drafted Recommendations
NH COVID-19 Reopening Guidance
NJ The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education
NM New Mexico Guidance for Summer Youth Programs
NM ReEntry Guidance
NY Reopening Task Force
NC Interim Guidance for Day Camp or Program Settings
NC Lighting our Way Forward: NCs Guidance for Reopening Public Schools
ND North Dakota K-12 Smart Restart Guidance
OH Responsible RestartOhio: Childcare
OH Reset and Restart Planning Guide
OH Responsible RestartOhio: Youth Day Camps
OK Return to Learn Oklahoma: Framework for Reopening Schools
OR Guidance on Summer School and Limited Learning in Person
OR Ready Schools, Safe Learners
PA Summer Recreation, Camps, and Pools
PA Preliminary Guidance for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools
RI Reimagining RI Education Fall Reopening Plan
RI Phase I Guidelines for Child Care
RI Phase II Guidelines for Summer Camp
RI Health and Safety Guidance to Reopen Rhode Island Schools
SC Interim Guidance for Day Camps
SC DRAFT: AcceleratED Task force for 2020-2021 SY
SC Interim Guidance for School Operations
SC Final AcceleratED Task Force
SD Starting Well: 2020
TN Summer Day Camps
TN Online Toolkits for School Reopening
TN Reopening Schools: Overview Guide for LEAs
TX Summer Instruction, Activities and School Visits: Guidance for Reopening and Student Interaction
UT Planning Requirements and Recommendations for K-12 School Reopening
VT Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Schools
VT Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs
VA Recover, Redesign, Restart School Reopening
VA Phase Guidance for VA School
WA Reopening Washington Schools 2020
WV Considerations for School Re-entry
WI Education Forward
WI Department of Children and Families: Guidance for Licensed Day Camps for Children
WY Smart Start Guidance