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22 Jun 2012, CBASS
Topic: » After-School System-Building

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The purpose of this survey of intermediary organizations is to better understand what intermediaries do, pinpoint the ways in which they’ve made the greatest gains, and suggest ways for spreading the progress.


For Immediate Release
June 26, 2011

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Contact: Jessica Donner
(646) 943-8738


Intermediary Organizations Report Increasing Out-of-School Time Opportunities for Children Nationwide

First national survey of OST intermediaries shows that they play important roles in building program quality, funding and access

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(PDF, 477KB)

Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of Out-of-School Time Intermediary Organizations

Even in a recessionary economy, out-of school time intermediaries helped increase the number of children in their cities or regions who were able to access expanded learning opportunities. This and other findings are from the first-ever national survey of out-of-school time intermediaries by the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS).

Out-of-school time (OST) intermediaries work at the center of multifaceted city and regional networks of government, schools, foundations, and front-line providers of after-school and other expanded learning opportunities. Many intermediaries are active in helping to build and support citywide or regional after-school systems. CBASS surveyed these nonprofit coordinating organizations in an attempt to better understand what intermediaries do, pinpoint how they’ve made the greatest gains and suggest ways for spreading the progress to other cities and regions. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2011, with 212 intermediaries responding.

The survey and resulting report, “Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of Out-of-School Time Intermediary Organizations,” was made possible through a grant from The Wallace Foundation.

Major findings include:

  • Even in a recessionary economy, intermediaries helped increase the number of kids in their cities or regions who got access to expanded learning opportunities. Overall, 64% of respondents reported that the number of youth served by OST programs in their communities increased.
  • Typically intermediaries needed private interests, such as foundation funding, to invest in building after-school systems before they were able to raise significant public funds. Generally the longer an organization has been working in OST, the more likely it is to report that funding for OST is “mostly public” as opposed to “mostly private.”
  • Intermediaries play import roles in increasing funding and developing quality standards and tools. Use of quality standards and tools is widespread among intermediaries that have been working in OST for more than three years.
  • Intermediaries identify as their most pressing priority the need to expand access to more children who are underserved by expanded learning opportunities. When asked to select their most pressing issues for the next five years, the survey group as a whole identified, in descending order, increasing access for underserved youth (59%); raising funds for programs (46%); and establishing data systems to drive quality (35%).
  • Less than a third of survey respondents report that their communities are using data systems to track program participation rates. Data systems are more commonly used by organizations with six or more years of experience working in OST.
  • Some intermediaries are missing opportunities to do the long-term work of changing policy and building data systems, but more than 70% seek ways to share knowledge and become more effective.

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Organized citywide and regional after-school systems have emerged only in the last few decades, and many communities are without them. Yet the need for effective OST intermediaries grows as the country changes and fewer homes have an adult around after 3 PM.

In analyzing survey data CBASS found that intermediaries come in all shapes, sizes and places, including local coordinating organizations, community foundations and statewide afterschool networks. Survey respondents indicate they need help and financing to build data systems and time to show positive program results. The survey also found that local OST intermediaries and Statewide Afterschool networks are policy leaders who report shaping policy and increasing funding through legislation.


Every Hour Counts formerly the Coalition for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) is a coalition of leading after-school intermediary organizations representing cities and regions across the country. Its mission is to expand the availability of high-quality learning opportunities, including after-school and summer, that help children gain the skills, knowledge and experiences they need to lead successful lives.

The Wallace Foundation is a national philanthropy that seeks to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children. Wallace’s major initiatives include efforts to help selected cities make good out-of-school time programs available to many more children. The foundation maintains an online library of free publications.

The CBASS partners are TASC, New York City; The After-School Institute, Baltimore; After School Matters, Chicago; Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign; Boston After School and Beyond; Chicago Allies for Youth Success; Partnership for Children and Youth, Bay Area, California; Prime Time Palm Beach County; Providence After School Alliance.