AYS, Inc. (formerly At-Your-School Child Services, Inc.) began with the vision of three concerned mothers who realized that working parents 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, hours later. Ellen Clippinger, AYS’ founder, felt these children were at serious risk and began looking for a solution. She soon found the perfect location for after-school care- inside the school buildings. The children were in a familiar place, there was no need for transportation, and the buildings were laid out to best fit the needs of children. In 1980, AYS was incorporated, gained not-for-profit status, and partnered with IPS School #70 as Indianapolis’ first after-school program within a school building. A start up grant from The Indianapolis Foundation supported the opening of this first program. Shortly after, AYS added a before-school program. New sites were added quickly and AYS currently operates in eight IPS schools.
Over the next years, AYS expanded into Washington Township, Noblesville, North West Hendricks County, Decatur Township, Speedway Schools, and Shelby and North Montgomery County. AYS also has programs in parochial and charter schools. The first annual Camp AYS summer program was held in 1987. We opened our first early childhood program, initially as a kindergarten program, in 1999.
AYS continues to grow. Our first program started with fewer than ten children. During this current school year, we have served 2,900 students at 44 sites in seven school districts, and 640 campers during summer 2015. We strive to deliver high quality programing at low cost to the children and their families. 96% of parents say they are happy or very happy with AYS, and 98% of them believe their children are safe and happy at AYS.
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. To learn more, please view our 2015-2016 Annual Report.