Afterschool Research: Parents and Families

Encouraging parent engagement, supporting working families

Parents and families are vital in a child’s life. Afterschool programs are supporting parent involvement, while also giving working parents peace of mind about their child.

Parent and family engagement is a key factor in student success. Research shows that children do better in school, improve their attitudes and behaviors, and are less likely to drop out of school when parents are involved in their education. This section highlights the value afterschool programs place on parent engagement and includes examples of how programs are working to strengthen relationships with families and increase parent involvement. 

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Afterschool: A Bipartisan Solution to Help Young People Thrive (October 2022)

At a time of deep partisan divides, Afterschool Alliance surveys of parents of school-age children before and during the pandemic have found an area of consensus around support for afterschool and summer learning programs. Across the political spectrum, parents identifying as Democratic, Independent, and Republican strongly agree that afterschool and summer learning programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and providing peace of mind to working parents, with overwhelming majorities in favor of public funding for such programs.

Parents and Families Surveys COVID-19


America for Afterschool (Oct 2018)

This 2018 national poll finds that there is strong public support for afterschool and summer learning programs. In this poll, designed by the bipartisan team of Lake Research Partners and the Tarrance Group and administered by Ipsos through an online omnibus survey, nearly 9 in 10 adults agree that afterschool programs are important to their community and 2 in 3 adults say that they want their federal, state, and local leaders to provide funding for afterschool and summer learning programs.


Afterschool: A Key to Successful Parent Engagement (2012)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the third of four issue briefs in our fifth series examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the vital role afterschool programs play in addressing these issues. This brief demonstrates the ties between parent engagement and student success, why afterschool programs are an ideal partner to help schools break down the barriers often present between parents and schools, and how they create unique opportunities that also encourage parent engagement.


Afterschool and Working Families in Wake of the Great Recession (2011)

Though the economy shows signs of recovery, it is evident that the Great Recession has had dramatic effects on the accessibility of employment for parents, the availability of affordable afterschool programs and, most of all, the education and future of our nation's youth. This brief examines the ways in which afterschool programs have coped with the difficulties brought on by the economic downturn and its impactful effects on children, families and communities.


Afterschool: Supporting Family Involvement in Schools (2008)

The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, is proud to present the last of four issue briefs in a series examining the vital role afterschool programs play in supporting children, families and communities. This brief emphasizes the benefits to students, schools and families that comes with family involvement in school and explores the various ways afterschool programs create linkages between school and home.


Afterschool Programs Help Working Families (2003)

Today, less than one-fourth of American families portray the "traditional" image of one parent at home while the other parent provides financial support. This makes accessible, affordable childcare more necessary than ever before. With work hours increasing and flexibility decreasing, the burden on parents, dangers for children and drain on employers is continuing to grow. This brief examines the ways in which working parents, their children, and employers can all benefit from quality afterschool programs.