History

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AYS HISTORY

AYS (formerly At-Your-School Child Services) began with the vision of three concerned mothers who realized that working families often could not be with their children during the critical out-of-school hours. A growing number of latchkey kids were going home after school to empty houses until their parents returned from work. In 1980, AYS was born out of a partnership with IPS School #70 that launched Indianapolis first after-school program located within a school building. The Indianapolis Foundation supported the start-up of this new program.

Over the years, AYS has fulfilled other needs in the Central Indiana community. In order for working parents to send their children to kindergarten, AYS began operating kindergarten wrap-around programs. These programs helped families overcome transportation and financial issues associated with half-day kindergarten. While the need for the wrap-around service has subsided due to full-day kindergarten programs, AYS has opened several early childhood programs that use research-based curriculum to prepare children for school. Since 1987, Camp
AYS is keeping children safe, active and engaged during the summer months.

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In 1995, AYS opened the Professional Development Center. This provided AYS staff and other youth care specialists the opportunity to attend training and workshops designed for their profession.

AYS values accountability. In 1998, AYS began working with the National Afterschool Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to gain national accreditation for its programs. Today, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is the accrediting organization for before- and after-school programs. Currently, nine of our school age programs are accredited through COA with six more waiting for their program visits, and one of our early childhood programs is accrediated through NAEYC. A few AYS sites also participate in the state’s Paths to Quality program.

Did you know?

AYS’ first program started with fewer than ten children. Today, we serve over 1,900 children through the school year and 500 through the summer.  Parent surveys demonstrate that 89% of parents feel AYS enriches their child’s learning, 98% feel their child enjoys going to AYS, and 99% are more focused at work because they are not worrying about their child.  To learn more, please view our 2013-2014 Annual Report.