The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was signed into law in January 2002, authorizing the California Department of Education (CDE) to administer California's 21st Century Community Learning Centers CCLC) Program. Education Code sections 8484.7 - 8484.9 further define California's 21st CCLC Program. This state-administered, federally funded program provides five-year grant funding to establish or expand before-and after-school programs that provide disadvantaged kindergarten through twelfth-grade students (particularly students who attend schools in need of improvement) with academic enrichment opportunities and supportive services to help the students meet state and local standards in core content areas.
The purpose of the 21st CCLC Program, as described in federal statute, is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities that focus on:
- Improved academic achievement
- Enrichment services that reinforce and complement the academic program, and
- Family literacy and related educational development services
Entities eligible to apply for funding include: local educational agencies (LEAs), cities, counties, community-based agencies, other public or private entities (which may include faith-based organizations), or a consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations, or entities. Applicants are required to plan their programs through a collaborative process that includes parents, youth, and representatives of participating schools or local educational agencies, governmental agencies (e.g., cities, counties, parks and recreation departments), community organizations, and the private sector.
While the CDE anticipates awarding grant funding for the California 21st CCLC Program on a regular basis, it is important to note that grant funding for each fiscal year is contingent upon the availability of federal funds and the enactment of each respective federal and state Budget Act. When grant funding is available, the CDE After School Programs Office will conduct a competitive grant process that begins with the release of a Request for Applications, which will be posted at CDE's Available Funding. Additional program-specific information, including updates, funding opportunities, a list of grantees, regional and CDE staff support, resources, and fiscal and evaluation requirements/information, can be found at 21st CCLC.