$100 million dollars in grants are now available to fund after-school programs throughout the state, Governor Hochul’s Office have announced. The funding announced is a $17.7 million dollar increase compared to last year.
The grant, titled Learning and Enrichment After-School Program Supports (LEAPS), will be distributed by the State Office of Children and Family Services. The governor expects the funding to offer services to over 40,000 children in high-need areas.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and youth were disconnected from after-school programming and lost out on this critical means to receive academic support and build stronger social connections,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will give young people another safe space to grow and express themselves and assure parents that their child’s learning and development isn’t confined to school hours.”
The LEAPS initiative will combine the existing Advantage and Empire State after-school programs into a single and now streamlined program that will standardize funding and eligibility. The goal is to reduce administrative costs and delays. Out of the $100 million dollars available, the governor says $97.5 million will go towards youths from pre-k through high school. $2.25 million will go towards a pilot program to provide youth development opportunities and services to adolescents for out of school times.
Awards for grant funding are expected to be announced in April of this year.