As the economy changes so does the need for childcare. Parents are working longer hours, and there now is more of a need for two incomes in a household. Children being left un-supervised is a big issue for the U.S. A decade ago, the phrase "After- school programs ", was rarely heard in the debate about how to better meet the developmental needs of children. Yet, after-school programs are now high on many people's list of solutions to the array of challenges facing children and their families (Halpern). Even though there are some concerned with the cost to provide these services, the benefit to both child and parent outweighs this. After- school programs help support a child's development, programs provide a safe environment and supervision, and helps keep them out of trouble while their parents work.
A majority of publicly financed after-school programs serve low-income students. They offer help with schoolwork, sports activities and other enrichment known to translate into improved school attendance and higher graduation rates and lower rates of teenage pregnancy, drinking, delinquency and drug use (Home alone). Also in response to this concern many communities have created after-school programs to keep kids out of trouble, and keep them involved in activities. Children involved in these programs will be too occupied to get into any trouble, unlike if they were left unattended. The programs are also important to help keep children occupied after school, because the period directly after school is the most crucial time of the day (Moore). When children have something to do and a fun place to go they might be prevented from doing and being tempted to do some of the delinquent behavior. Some of this behavior that might be able to be avoided is such things as drug abuse, theft, alcoholism and wanting to drop out of school. Having an after school program can help those attending not feel the pressures of wanting to do some of the activities that could be harmful.