Ontario's After School Program Home arrow Ontario's After School Program

Ontario's After School Program

Ontario's After School Program provides funding to help sport and recreation organizations deliver quality programs for children and youth in priority neighbourhoods across the province.

The programs generally run between 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and aim to help children and youth get active, develop healthy eating habits, gain confidence and do better in school, which help to decrease childhood obesity and youth violence.

Each year, the program provides thousands of children and youth, who may not otherwise have an opportunity, a chance to participate in fun, safe, supervised activities.

Goals and Activities

Funding supports after school programs that offer activities in three core areas:

1. Physical activity

girls playing

Get students moving through participation in structured activities like basketball, hip hop dancing or soccer, or simply through unstructured play time.

2. Healthy eating

kids cooking

Teach participants about nutrition and cooking healthy foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Students prepare their own healthy after school snacks such as fruit smoothies or quesadillas.

3. Health and wellness


Build self-esteem, resiliency, confidence and self-reliance among participants and raise awareness about anti-bullying and enhance positive relationships.

Programs may also focus additional program time on activities that are specific to participants’ needs. This programming may include cultural activities such as traditional French recipes, Aboriginal drumming and dancing, homework help, arts and crafts, and music.

Find an Ontario After School Program

As of September, 2018

Funding Eligibility

Pre-evaluated sport and recreation organizations were invited to apply for funding. There is not an open-call for applications. Please read our FAQs for more information.


Ontario’s After School Program was developed in 2009 as part of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and was expanded in 2012 as part of Ontario’s Youth Action Plan.

Ontario's After School Program supports Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan, which aims to make opportunities available for all Ontarians to get involved in sport.

The program now benefits approximately 21,000 children and youth in Grades 1 to 12 at more than 400 program sites in priority neighbourhoods across the province.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the After School Program reach?

The program reaches children and youth in priority neighbourhoods across Ontario. View a map of after school program locations.

Does the Ministry run each after school program?

No. After school programs are run by sport and recreation organizations that receive funding from the Ministry. The Ministry provides guidelines to these organizations, but they make their own decisions in terms of how the program is run, identifying participants and hiring staff.

How does the Ministry select the organizations who get funding?

Non-profit organizations with a sport and recreation mandate were identified through a consultation process with community stakeholders, municipalities, other Ministries, and United Way Chapters. Those organizations were then invited by the Ministry to submit proposals.

Does the Ministry provide input on how after school programs are run?

All organizations are required to deliver programming that addresses the three core areas identified by the Ontario government as essential to help improve child health:

    • physical activity
    • healthy eating
    • health and wellness

Organizations may also provide cultural activities that meet the needs of the local community.

The Ministry provides some resources directly to organizations to support the delivery of the after school program, but does not determine the specifics of how each program is run.

How were priority neighbourhoods identified?

Priority neighbourhoods were identified in consultation with other ministries by looking at various factors, including:

    • where young people face the highest risks;
    • areas where there are significant gaps in after school programming;
    • socio-economic status;
    • community needs in urban, rural and northern areas, including those adversely impacted by economic conditions and limited resources or funding;
    • education quality and accountability office (EQAO) scores.

If my child lives in one of the priority neighbourhoods, is he/she eligible to participate in an after school program?

Please contact the organizations providing programming within your community to find out more about the eligibility and requirements of that program site.

Who should I contact to find out more about Ontario’s After School Program?

Please send your questions by email to afterschool@ontario.ca and a program coordinator will respond to your questions.