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Latch-key kids

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Three in 10 North Carolina children of working families are unsupervised in the afternoons, a number that rises to four in 10 for middle school students, a new study says.

“America After 3 PM,” a study conducted by the Afterschool Alliance and funded by J.C. Penney Co., surveyed working families in North Carolina about after-school child care.

The study found 9.7 million children of working families are on their own in the afternoons, and their parents would place them in an after-school program if one were available.

Fewer than one in 10 children from rural working families attend after-school programs, the study says, in part because of lack of availability.

Three in 10 white children have no adult supervision in the afternoons, compared to 2.5 in 10 African American children and slightly more than two in 10 Hispanic children.

Lack of resources for increasing accessibility and awareness about quality programs is an important for the low participation rates, the study says.

More resources needed for after school programs, study says.

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