Parents and caregivers asked to share struggles with out-of-school care

Survey focuses on before/after-school & summer programs

For thousands of parents in Wake County, the start of school has brought a sigh of relief as kids head back to the classroom, but for many families the struggle continues to find care for children, especially teens, in the times between breakfast and the first bell, or between dismissal and dinner. Through a new, 10-minute survey, Wake County parents can help shape the future of out-of-school resources in our community and have a chance to win a $50 gift card.

"Research has shown that participation in out-of-school time programs can have a positive impact on a child's academic performance and overall well-being, so we want to find out more about what parents need and what is and isn’t working for them,” said Shinica Thomas, chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We were so excited to partner with NC State University on this survey, as it will provide valuable data to help us examine how we might be able to enhance these programs and services offered in Wake County."

In their 2020 America After 3PM report, researchers found 25 million children nationwide were unable to participate in after-school and out-of-school programs. The barriers cited are program cost, availability, transportation or accessibility.

"Out-of-school time" refers to the period when school-age children are not in their regular school classes. It includes the hours before and after school as well as during school breaks like summer vacations, holidays and weekends. “Out-of-school time" programs provide structured and supervised activities and care for children and youth during these non-school hours.

The Out-of-School Time Programs survey is an online survey available at It only takes a few minutes to complete and does not collect private family or child information. It takes only a few minutes for parents or caregivers to share the barriers and challenges they’re facing, such as cost, location, transportation or timing.

The survey is also now available in Spanish. Survey participants will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. The data collected through the survey will play a pivotal role in generating a comprehensive report and a set of formal recommendations.

Wake County Cooperative Extension and NC State University also partnered on a separate provider survey, where organizations or businesses currently offering these kinds of programs can share their successes and challenges, as well. The insights gained from both surveys will serve as a basis for better supporting providers and families in Wake County. The goal is to create an environment where every child can benefit from these essential programs.

Quick Summary Points:

  • This Wake County/NC State University survey addresses the challenge of limited access to after-school and summer programs for school-age children.
  • The "Out-of-School Time Programs: Parent & Adult Caregiver Survey" is also available in Spanish.
  • Survey participants will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
  • The collected data will be used to create a comprehensive report and formal recommendations, shaping future policies and initiatives to ensure that all Wake County children have access to high-quality programs.
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