Landscape of Publicly Available Data on School-Age Child Care

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodMay 7 2024

Research finds that high-quality child care and enrichment programming provided to school-age children (i.e., children ages 5-12 who are enrolled in school) during non-school hours (i.e., before or after school or during the summer) are associated with positive academic, physical, and socialemotional outcomes.a,b

Unmet demand for school-age child care (SACC) is high, especially for families with lower incomes and for Black and Hispanic families; 51 percent of children living in low income households and over 50 percent of Black and Latinx children would participate in afterschool programs if they were available to them, according to their caregivers.c,d Despite the high need for SACC, there is limited publicly available data on SACC related topics, such as parent/family preferences, cost, availability, and the types of care used.

The main objectives of this landscape analysis are to (1) identify publicly available data sources that can be used to understand SACC topics (such as quality of services, need and demand for SACC, cost and payment supports, parent preferences, availability and usage, and child and parent/family outcomes); and (2) document the characteristics of the data sources to identify gaps in, and strengths of, currently available data. This information can be used to identify appropriate data sources for specific research questions and to highlight where further investment in SACC-related data collection is needed to better understand SACC and support future research.

This brief is part of the Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis (CCEEPRA) project. CCEEPRA supports policy and program planning and decision-making with rigorous, research-based information.


a Hurd, N., & Deutsch, N. (2017). SEL-focused after-school programs. The Future of Children, 27(1), 95–115.

b McCombs, J.S., Anamarie A.W., & Yoo, P.Y. (2017). The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs. RAND Corporation.

c Afterschool Alliance. (2021). Time for a game-changing summer, with opportunity and growth for all of America’s youth. America After 3PM Summer: Afterschool Alliance.

d Afterschool Alliance. (2021). Demand grows, opportunity shrinks. America After 3PM.