How Much Do Before and After School Programs Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

After school programs provide an opportunity to children to continue the learning process after the normal hours of school.  These programs also allow parents who work extra time a child care option since most schools dismiss around 3:00 p.m. and the average person works until 5:00 p.m. or later.  Defined by the AfterSchoolAlliance.org, these programs can be defined as any program that provides child care for elementary and middle school youth when they are not in school and parents aren’t home.

After school programs can be defined as any activity offered by an organization that invites the youth to participate outside of the traditional programs offered at the school.  The programs can be held inside a school building or elsewhere in the community.

Bellaire Hazen Playground by lydia_x_liu, on Flickr
Bellaire Hazen Playground” (CC BY 2.0) by lydia_x_liu

How much do before- and after-school programs cost?

A lot of public schools offer both before and after school programs for their students, with fees ranging anywhere from $100 to $550 per month.  These costs can be dependent upon where you live, your family’s income, the hours of operation and the activities provided by the program.  Some programs may charge by the hour, which can be anywhere from $5 to $9, whereas others may charge by the day and/or week.  Daily rates can be in the $10 to $20 rates, while weekly rates can be $120 to $170.  However, in some higher cost of living areas, these costs could be more.  Refer to our table below to see what some parents paid in the United States.

If the program isn’t operated by the school district, it can often be subcontracted to an outside source such as the YMCA.  If this were the case, then the costs could be anywhere from $250 to $600 or more per month, again, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.  This cost estimate is often for programs that last until six p.m. after school gets out.  Aside from the YMCA, local churches, for-profit daycare centers and boys and girls clubs may offer these programs as well.

For example, the Gilbert, Arizona, school district offers an after-school program for $14.75 per day or $62.70 per week.

For-profit daycares or schools can often pick up or drop your child off with their personal shuttle, offering similar programs to the typical daycare.  These costs can range anywhere from $200 to $600, depending on the geographical location, the school you choose and the activities provided.

According to some forum members on ProTeacher.net, some parents replied to the costs of aftercare programs and said they paid anywhere from $3 per 15 minutes to as much as $486 per week at the local YMCA.

Geographical AreaCost
New Hampshire$12 per day or $30 on non-school day
Delaware$125 per week
Arkansas$45 per week or $8.75 per day
Alabama$5 per day
Louisiana$16 per day for both before/after or $12 for either
Nevada$80 per week
Pennsylvania$17 per day for both before/after
California$16 per day
Oregon$35 per week
Michigan$400 for whole school year
Ohio$40 per week

Before- and after-school programs overview

Most after-school programs, regardless of which option you choose, will be supervised by a staff member/s and will either operate as a daycare service or may provide specialized activities such as sports, games, projects, music or movies.  Some may also offer a quiet room where students can study and get their homework done for the day.  The Living Experience, for instance, breaks down their schedule:  At 3 p.m., the student arrives, receives a snack, gets homework assistance, and by 5:45, it will be time for pickup.

School programs that begin before school usually open at 6 a.m. and after-school programs will be open until 6 p.m.

Before and after school programs often last two to three hours, depending on the times and school policy.

What are the extra costs?

A one-time registration fee may apply at the beginning of the school year, usually no more than $50.

Some organizations will offer transportation to pick up the kids from and to the location of the facility, but there may be an additional charge, usually no more than $50 per month.

Most schools will ask that you pick up your student at a certain time, and if you were to show up after this designated time, then you may be charged a late fee, usually about $1 to $5 per minute.

Some programs may be available while the school is on holiday break.  If you needed your child to attend during these breaks, most programs, according to our research, increase their rates by two or three times the amount.

If the school has a half day, the costs for that day can increase.

How can I save money?

If you sign up for an after-school program through the child’s current school, you may be eligible for a student discount.

If programs are available through your public school district, you may be eligible if you meet certain income requirements.

Sibling discounts can be available to those who have more than one child attending the program.  Oftentimes, this can be as much as 25 percent off the tuition.


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