A Different Kind of Child Development Institution: The History of After-School Programs for Low-Income Children
by Robert Halpern - 2002
Over the past decade politicians and policy makers, the media, child development professionals, and parents have focused increasing attention on the after-school hours of children aged 6 to 14, coming to view this daily time period as one of unusual “risk and opportunity” (Hofferth 1995). Attention to the after-school hours has led in turn to renewed interest in a longstanding child development institution, after-school programs, particularly those serving low- and moderate-income children. This article examines the historical development of after-school programs serving low-income children including objectives and practices in each era, formative influences, implementation challenges, and role in children’s lives. In a final section, the author discusses the current pressures facing the after-school field and suggests an appropriate set of purposes and expectations for the coming years.
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