after school programs in california

Best 15 After School Programs for Education in California (Updated)

There are many after-school programs for education in California that offer a variety of activities and lessons to keep your child engaged, learning, and having fun.

In today’s competitive environment, it is essential to have an opportunity for your child to be creative and develop their talents outside of the classroom. You can find many different types of classes or clubs from sports to arts & crafts at any number of these schools.

There are also opportunities for students who want more rigorous academics with tutoring available in all subjects at some locations. All this, combined with the socialization aspect, makes these after-school programs ideal for parents and children alike. Our team compiled the following list on the top 15 after-school programs around California based on parent reviews, student activities, location, and value for the money.

1. Adventure Clubs of America-Orange County

 Adventure Clubs of America

Adventure Clubs of America is a top-rated program that offers children the opportunity to explore their interests and talents in a fun, safe, and creative environment. ACA has locations in Orange County, Los Angeles, Valencia, and San Diego, with activities that vary by location. ACA’s Orange County branch offers cooking, dance, martial arts, and more classes.

The best part about Adventure Clubs of America is that they offer scholarships for students who cannot afford the tuition. This means that any child can have the opportunity to participate in the program and develop their skills.

  • Location: Orange County
  • Tuition: Ranges from $100 to $275 per month, varies by location
  • Reviews: Excellent

2. After School All Stars-Los Angeles

 After School All Stars

After School All-Stars is a national organization that provides after-school programs to children in low-income communities, ASAS operates in over 700 schools across the United States and serves over 125,000 students.

ASAS offers homework help, enrichment activities, and physical activity in their programs. ASAS also partners with organizations such as the YMCA, LAUSD, and other local businesses to provide more opportunities for their students.

  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Tuition: Free or sliding scale tuition based on family income
  • Reviews: Excellent

3. Bright Horizons-Multiple Locations

Bright Horizons is a national company that provides child care, early education, and workplace solutions. Bright Horizons has many locations throughout California.

Bright Horizons offers a variety of programs such as parent-child classes, early education, and after-school care. Bright Horizons is also one of the few providers offering a STEM program that teaches children science, technology, engineering, and math.

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: Varies by location
  • Reviews: Excellent

4. Coding for Kids-San Francisco

Coding for Kids is a computer programming school for children ages 4-14. Coding for Kids offers classes in San Francisco and Berkeley.

Coding for Kids teaches children to code using games, puzzles, and animations. In addition, children will learn how to create their video games and websites by writing their very own computer code.

  • Location: San Francisco and Berkeley
  • Tuition: Varies by location; click here for monthly tuition rates
  • Reviews: Excellent

5. EnrichLA-Los Angeles

EnrichLA began in 1990 as a pilot program for after-school enrichment classes. Since then, they have grown to become the leading provider of ACR (After-School Resource) programs in Los Angeles County.

Their locations offer over 150 activities, including technology, sports, arts & crafts, gardening, cooking, science experiments, music lessons, theater rehearsals, and much more. EnrichLA also works with community organizations to provide free tutoring at select sites.

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: Free or sliding scale tuition based on family income
  • Reviews: Excellent

6. Kids’ College of the Arts-Walnut Creek

Kids’ College of the Arts is a non-profit organization that offers theater, dance, music, and visual arts classes to children ages 3-18.

Its mission is to provide affordable arts education to children in the Bay Area. KCOA has locations in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton.

Classes vary by age and skill level. Some courses are drop-in, while others require a semester commitment.

  • Location: Walnut Creek and Pleasanton
  • Tuition: $5-$95 per class
  • Reviews: Good

7. La Petite Academy-Multiple Locations

La Petite Academy is a nationally recognized, owner-operated child care franchise. La Petite believes in providing high-quality programs and activities for children ages two months to 12 years old.

Their centers offer before and after school care, flexible hours to accommodate working parents, and private or shared rooms. They also have special needs classrooms that include trained teachers with experience serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental disabilities.

  • Location: Multiple locations in Los Angeles County
  • Tuition: Varies by location
  • Reviews: Excellent

8. Little Kids Rock-Multiple Locations

Little Kids Rock is an American non-profit organization dedicated to restoring music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools and raising student achievement by revitalizing their instrumental music program.

Their mission is to “restore instrumental music education in our nation’s public elementary and middle schools and to raise the standard of teaching through high-quality teacher training, instructional materials, and performance opportunities for teachers and students.”

Little Kids Rock provides free instruments and band uniforms and weekly private lessons to children interested in learning how to play a musical instrument. Little Kids Rock has multiple locations throughout California, including Apple Valley, Carson, Chula Vista, Concord, Fremont, Glendale, Lynwood, Los Angeles (2), Santa Monica (2).

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: Free or sliding scale tuition depending on a family’s income
  • Reviews: Excellent

9. Merritt College Child Development Center-Oakland

The Merritt College Child Development Center (CDC) was established in 1979 to provide quality child care for students, staff, and faculty at the college.

Their vision is to be recognized as an exemplary program that enhances healthy child development by providing safe, nurturing, engaging experiences from birth through kindergarten entry.

  • Location: Oakland
  • Tuition: $890-$1230 per semester or $19–$25 per day plus enrollment fees ($10/month). Financial aid package available depending on your need.
  • Reviews: Very Good

10. Mother Goose Time-Multiple Locations

In 1996, Mother Goose Time was established by parents and child care professionals to provide quality early childhood education at affordable prices. They believe that every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, and enriching early childhood experience so they “get off to a good start” in life.

Their centers have been voted best daycare in their respective communities. Their sites currently include multiple locations within Los Angeles County, Orange County, Fresno / Madera Counties, and San Diego County.

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: $600-$700 per month or $75 per week
  • Reviews: Good

11. Neon Street

Neon Street is a for-profit online music academy providing lessons to students across the country since 1999. They currently offer piano, guitar (electric and acoustic), drums, bass guitar, voice, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, violin/viola, and cello.

Their customers love the convenience of online lessons as well as saving money on studio rental fees; one customer even said that she saved enough after only three months of Neon Street lessons to buy her son an electric guitar, “which was like winning the lottery”!

  • Location: Online only
  • Tuition: $24-$27 per hour or $100-$120 per month for unlimited access to their entire catalog of lessons
  • Reviews: Excellent

12. Step By Step-Multiple Locations

Step by Step was founded in 1985 to provide preschool and child care services for children of working families, emphasizing early learning experiences that prepare young children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Their centers offer a variety of programs, including full-time, part-time, hourly, drop-off only, and “mornings only” options. Full-time enrollment is typically from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

Part-time hours usually run from 7 am to 2 pm, or 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday 8 am to 1 pm or 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Thursday, depending on the location. Many centers have different hours during summer and winter breaks and holidays.

  • Location: Multiple Locations in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Ventura County
  • Tuition: $1,990-$2,810 per month for full-time enrollment (7am to 6pm Monday through Friday). Part-time rates vary depending on location.
  • Reviews: Good

13. The Learning Experience-Multiple Locations

The Learning Experience offers high-quality early childhood education services in a safe and nurturing environment designed to help children blossom academically and socially during the early stages of their development.

Their well-trained teachers follow educational guidelines set by one of four prestigious accreditation organizations, including NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), CCAP (Council for Child Care Accreditation), AEYC (American Academy of Early Childhood Programs), and NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation).

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: $850-$1,950 per month or $595-$895 per week
  • Reviews: Good

14. Kiddie Academy-Multiple Locations

Kiddie Academy is a national provider of early childhood education and care services with over 100 locations in 25 states across the country. They offer both full-day and hourly care programs and before- and after-school care for students in grades K-12.

Their programs promote “academic excellence, character development, and healthy lifestyles” in a safe and nurturing environment. Their teachers are highly qualified with at least six months of professional experience. They are dedicated to hiring teachers with the gift of caring and promoting “positive, meaningful relationships” among staff, parents, families, and children.

  • Location: Multiple Locations in Southern California
  • Tuition: $925-$1,055 per month or $100-$120 per week for before-/after-school care; $950-$1,115 per month or $105-$125 per week for full-day preschool programs (7am to 6pm)
  • Reviews: Good

15. Bridge To Learning Montessori -Multiple Locations

Bridge to Learning Montessori Schools was established more than 30 years ago by educators who wanted to create an affordable school where preschoolers could learn and grow in a loving and caring environment. They currently operate 11 locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Their preschool programs are based on the Montessori philosophy that emphasizes discovery, freedom to choose activities, creativity, practical life skills, and respect for others. Staff members at their schools believe that children learn best through play and hands-on experience and maintain small class sizes (9:1 ratio) so they can provide each child with the individual attention and guidance necessary to reach their maximum potential.

  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Tuition: $940 per month or $75 per week for before/after-school care; $950-$2,090 per month for full-day preschool programs (7am to 6pm)
  • Reviews: Good


Here are some commonly asked questions about after-school programs.

Are After school programs worth it?

In general, yes, outside-of-school programs are worth it. They balance out a child’s daily life, give them space from their families, introduce them to kids who share similar interests/goals, and offer opportunities to have more credit-earning semester courses. Many of these classes teach subjects that may never be offered at high school.

Are After school programs expensive?

It depends on what type of after-school program you’re looking at. For example, some programs offer daycare for a fee, whereas others provide access to computers, textbooks, and homework help.

Why are after-school programs bad?

In their purest form, after-school programs are a vital part of a child’s development, providing the time and space for children to be creative and social. In some districts, school events can provide more structured fun to help kids consolidate new skills. Along with this time off from the typical structure of classes during the day, students in these programs develop a sense of responsibility while having a blast.

Do after-school jobs affect grades?

Considering things like location and type of after-school job, how much the person is doing in school and at their job, and how often someone quits their job (and manages to fill in that lost work time), the after-school jobs might affect grades.

Are After school clubs Good?

After-school clubs can be an excellent way for children to have a supervised amount of free time, and it gives the parents peace of mind that their child is being taken care of by dedicated teachers. In addition, after-school programs help kids grow social skills and maturity with board games or outdoor art projects led by positive role models.

Why should I study After School?

Although after-school programs are not mandatory, they offer a wealth of benefits for children. Time spent in after-school activities can help students consolidate new skills and knowledge learned during the school day. They also provide opportunities for enrichment in areas that may not be available in standard high school curricula.


there you have it, folks – there are 15 after-school programs you can send your kids to in the California state. As you can see, there is a program for every budget and location. Hopefully, this list will help make your decision a little bit easier!

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