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Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia (2017)

October 24, 2017
  • Yesim Sayin
  • Kathryn Zickuhr


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.


Yesim Sayin

Executive Director
D.C. Policy Center

Yesim Sayin is the founding Executive Director of the D.C. Policy Center.

With over twenty years of public policy experience in the District of Columbia, Dr. Sayin is recognized by policymakers, advocates and the media as a source of reliable, balanced analyses on the District’s economy and demography.  Yesim’s research interests include economic and fiscal policy, urban economic development, housing, and education. She is especially focused on how COVID-19 pandemic is changing regional and interregional economic interdependencies and what this means for urban policy. Her work is frequently covered in the media, including the Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, WAMU, and the Washington City Paper, among others.

Before joining the D.C. Policy Center, Dr. Sayin worked at the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer leading the team that scored the fiscal impact of all legislation the District considered. She frequently testified on high profile legislation and worked closely with the executive and Council staff to ensure that policymakers fully understand the fiscal implications of their proposed legislation. Yesim also has worked in the private sector, and consulted with international organization on a large portfolio of public finance topics.

Yesim holds a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University, located in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Kathryn Zickuhr

Former Director of Policy
D.C. Policy Center

Kathryn Zickuhr served on the D.C. Policy Center staff as the Director of Policy from its founding until May 2020.

Prior to joining the Center in January 2017, Kathryn was a research analyst at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & Technology Project, where she studied topics such as the changing role of public libraries in American communities and the digital divide. Kathryn holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in history and Russian from the University of Kansas.