health, and social services for young people whose families cannot ensure their well-being.
The current proposal is in effect a successor to Senator Kassebaum’s bill, but it is more promising because a number of issues that blocked wide support of the earlier bill have been resolved and because more funds are available now. With a new Congress and a new administration, only time will tell whether this bill will be passed.
President George W.Bush included after-school programming as part of his presidential campaign agenda. He proposed opening up the funding for 21st Century Learning Centers to broad-based bidding so that faith-based organizations (Education Week, 2001), youth development groups, and local charities could compete equally with schools for the funds (Chaddock, 1999).
President Bush also proposed a $400 million add-on to the Child Care and Development Block Grant to fund certificates that would help an additional 500,000 low-income parents to pay for after-school programs. This funding is often an important support for many local community programs for youth, particularly those for children younger than 13. These grants are provided to states and tribes to assist low-income families with child care. This funding allows states maximum flexibility in developing child care programs and policies that best suit the needs of children and parents, and therefore after-school programs are eligible for this funding.
In fall 2000 a group of federal agencies and nonprofit youth-serving organizations, convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Family and Youth Services Bureau, collaborated on the development of a framework to promote and support youth development (2001). This framework declared that the time is right to promote youth development principles through community-based organizations and schools. It included a definition of youth development that is consistent with the framework developed in this report and it provided examples of programs that promoted these principles.
Increased opportunities for community programs for youth have also emerged at the state and local level. In fact, there are many good examples of coordination around youth development policies at the state and local level. Support for such initiatives is being driven by federal funding, as well as state and local funding.