The report profiles cities that are on the cutting edge in their development of citywide OST systems. With committed mayoral leadership, these cities have moved from managing or funding individual programs to building more coordinated networks that bring disparate stakeholders together and use research-based approaches to improve quality and access.
- The great majority of profiled cities used data-driven analyses of community needs -- including a thorough assessment of current supply of and demand for programs across all neighborhoods -- as a key starting point for their efforts.
- Cities took steps to improve the quality of their programs by creating or adopting local afterschool standards, using a quality assessment tool, and/or offering more training opportunities to program staff.
- Despite the severe economic crisis and the pressures on municipal budgets, a number of cities reported that they continued to invest funds from city general revenues in their efforts to build citywide OST systems.
- Cities reported that improvement is most needed in the areas of multi-year planning, expanding participation, gathering reliable data and data management, and formalizing a coordinating entity.