This report describes the current landscape of out-of-school time (OST) programs in the District of Columbia. It takes stock of existing OST programs and assesses the extent to which these programs are meeting the needs of children and youth attending D.C. public and public charter schools. The report focuses on “subsidized” OST programs—programs that receive funding from the federal government, D.C. government, or private foundations. In painting this landscape, the report begins with information on OST programs, including afterschool and summer programs, collected from various providers across the city. This information formed the basis for the capacity estimates of existing programs. Next, the report defines four alternative need metrics by which to measure District’s subsidized OST capacity, based on different potential policy goals. By comparing current capacity with these four levels of estimated need, one can broadly identify gaps in OST program capacity for different age groups and across different wards of the city.

Report materials:


This report received support from the District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Education to fulfill the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes Establishment Act of 2016 requirement to conduct a citywide OST needs assessment. United Way of the National Capital Area commissioned the report.

This report would not have been possible without the collaboration provided by the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA). DCAYA offered staff time to guide the work and to engage young people and their families in the research. The Young Women’s Project and East River Family Strengthening Collaborative also assisted with engaging youth and their parents with the focus groups and questionnaires. Martin Copeland and Nathaniel Cole facilitated the focus group discussions. Meng Li provided research assistance.

2017, D.C. Policy Center, Washington D.C.


Correction, 2/2018: A table on page 35 showed in the incorrect capacity and gap information for summer programs for grades 9-12 under narrow income targeting. This error has been corrected.

Photo credit: David N. (Source)

D.C. Policy Center Fellows are independent writers, and we gladly encourage the expression of a variety of perspectives. The views of our Fellows, published here or elsewhere, do not reflect the views of the D.C. Policy Center.

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About this report This report was prepared and produced by the D.C. Policy Center for the DC Chamber of Commerce….