Free or Low-Cost Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs not only provide a safe and supervised space for adolescents, which can prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors, but also provide learning outside of the classroom. Studies show that students participating in high-quality afterschool programs display improved behavior and lower levels of absenteeism, earn higher grades, and perform better on tests compared to non-participating students.

These types of programs can be expensive, but local nonprofit organizations (including many of our funded partners!) provide all types of extracurricular activities to students for free or a low cost.

Breakthrough Austin

Breakthrough provides afterschool and weekend programs, and provides programming for students all the way through high school. They work to meet all of the needs of each child by providing a case manager and extended learning times. Their programs encourage STEM learning, community service and college prep. Learn more on Breakthrough Austin’s website.

Foundation Communities

Foundation Communities hosts more than 700 children at their free afterschool and summer learning programs at seven Learning Centers around Austin. Their programs promote academic success as well as health and fitness education. Locate the Learning Center near you for more information.

ACE-Austin Afterschool Programs

ACE-Austin is Austin ISD’s network of 20 before and afterschool programs that are free of charge. These programs range from tutoring to filming to STEM education to character education. Learn more by speaking to your child’s counselor.


EAC offers infant, toddler, pre-K and afterschool childcare for kids up to age 12 onsite at various school campuses. There are reduced fees available for qualifying families, as well as all-day care during school holidays, such as Winter Break and Spring Break. EAC teaches curriculum based on weekly themes and weekly curriculum includes Math and Science Mondays, Crafty Art Wednesdays and Sports Fridays; learn more on their website.

Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area operate 23 clubs in Austin for kids ages 6 through 18. They focus on five core areas: character and leadership development, education and career development, the arts, health and life skills and sports/fitness. Learn more on their website.


Multiple locations in Austin provide afterschool care for kids grades K – 5. Financial assistance may be available for those in need. Learn more on the Austin YMCA website.

Creative Action

Creative Action provides free afterschool classes at specific underserved campuses, as well as afterschool classes that parents can pay for if their child does not attend one of these campuses. Their programs aim to increase art literacy in areas of theatre, visual art, music, culture and many others. See if your child’s campus is served by Creative Action or learn more about paying for a program on their website.


The Girls Empowerment Network of Austin aims to support and guide girls as they navigate adolescent pressures. clubGen is an afterschool program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade. The program connects girls with positive role models and touches on topics like body image, self-esteem, bullying career exploration and financial literacy, among others. The program is completely free. Learn more on the GENAustin website.

There are hundreds of other afterschool programs in Austin we did not have room to include in this post. For more information, talk to your child’s school counselor who will have details on which programs are offered to their students or call 2-1-1.