Starting a business

4 grants that could help you fund your after school program

Back to school is just around the corner. The return of in-person classes will bring in much more normal schedules for families and kids everywhere. This means that families will be searching for after school programs, too. With increasing demand for programs, now is the perfect time to start an after school program as an educator. Grow your own business and positively impact those in your community through your particular passion.

One of the most challenging and crucial first steps for starting an after school program is finding the funding. Fortunately, federal and state investments in after school programs have created flexible funding streams to accommodate the needs of after school educators like you. Find what works best for you and your fledgling program and watch your business start to grow.

4 types of funding for your after school program

Federal funding for after school programs can come through a variety of channels. If funding is a pressing issue for you and your after school business-to-be, look into these programs and resources to start yourself on your own path to educating.

1. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC)

21CCLC is a federal funding source that supports after school programs. The program specifically enables the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment during non-school hours. Awards are made to State Education Agencies. Local Education Agencies and nonprofit organizations may then apply on the state level for subgrants. 21CCLC has helped fund all sorts of programs—from tutoring and homework help, to music, arts, sports, and other organizations.

2. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

The Child Care and Development Fund provides assistance to low-income families who need child care due to work, work-related training, or school. Over the years, states have used childcare vouchers to assist and improve the quality and availability of after school programs through capacity-building grants. Find your state or local contact to learn more.

3. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Similar to CCDF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a program that provides financial support for low-income families as well as after school programs. TANF has over $16 billion in total funding. Direct state spending from TANF can support programs as well as individual subsidies for children.

4. Federal Food and Nutrition Programs

Do you need snacks or meals for your after school program? The National School Lunch Program: Afternoon Snacks, the Child and Adults Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the School Breakfast Program all fall under the umbrella of the U.S Department of Agriculture and may reimburse your after school program. These funds can support any piece of your program by reducing or eliminating the costs of feeding children.

If you dream of becoming an after school educator, funding shouldn’t have to cut short any of your aspirations. The resources exist to help you fund your own after school business, it’s just a matter of finding the right opportunity. Becoming an after school educator should be a manageable and fulfilling process, and Sawyer is here to help you on that journey.

Looking for more guidance on how to get a small business grant, including how to write a strong grant cover letter and executive summary for grant proposals? Check out our guides.

Run your program efficiently with Sawyer

Once you’re funded, and up and running, organizing and operating the business side of your program presents its own set of challenges. Sawyer can help you handle all components of your business: scheduling, appointments, payments, forms, and rosters, all under one easy-to-use platform. Think of Sawyer as your complete business toolkit to help you schedule camps, events, and activities, acquire new customers through our ever-expanding Marketplace, and continue to learn through personalized onboarding and training videos. We design nuanced products for the children’s activity industry, including flexible payment types, activity offerings, parties, gift cards, and more. 

Learn more or book a demo to find out all the ways that Sawyer can help transform your business!

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