Public Policy Forum Research


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Afterschool programs valued by parents for convenience, homework help

The Public Policy Forum conducted focus groups of parents at eight Milwaukee afterschool programs to better understand the aspects of programs most valued by parents and their expectations for quality, affordability, and convenience. This research is part of a larger project analyzing issues of quality among Milwaukee’s hundreds of afterschool programs.  The focus groups, conducted in school-based and stand-alone programs, provide a small snapshot into quality as perceived by parents.  

We spoke with a total of 53 parents in five neighborhoods and heard overwhelmingly that parents look first for convenience, location, and schedule. Most parents also were very concerned with their children’s safety and ability to access help with homework. Many felt a tight connection between the school and the afterschool program benefitted their children’s academic progress.