The impact of after-school childcare arrangements on the developmental outcomes of low-income children

Hyejoon Park, Min Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Even though after-school programs (hereafter ASPs) and other types of childcare arrangements have long been implemented, childcare for school-aged children remains a patchwork made up of ASPs, relative care, parental care, and self-care, also with many families opting to use some combination of these types of care. Few studies, however, have examined the impact of various childcare arrangements for school-aged children aside from those focused substantially on ASPs. This study aims to examine how five different after-school childcare arrangements, ASPs, relative care, parental care, self-care, and combinations of care, are related to the academic and behavioral outcomes among low-income, school-aged children. The present study utilized data from the National Household Education Survey Programs: after-school programs and Activities (2005) (NHES: ASPA). Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted using 717 low-income households with children who utilized one of five childcare arrangements. Children's academic performance—academic scores and whether having schoolwork problems or not—and their behavioral outcomes that included whether having behavioral problems or not and whether having experience of suspension, detention, or expulsion, were examined. Findings from the study indicate that, compared to children in ASPs, those in relative care and parental care had better academic performance (fewer schoolwork problems). Parental care was also positively associated with children's behavioral outcomes (fewer behavioral problems). The study demonstrates that relative and parental care have a more positive association with children's developmental outcomes, compared to ASPs. Based on the study findings, practice and policy implications are discussed for low-income children's development. Several methodologies are also suggested for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-241
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • After-school programs
  • Child developmental outcomes
  • Low-income children
  • Parental care
  • Relative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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