Years ago, after-school hours were a time when children played in the neighborhood, at home, or with friends. Today, they are a time when many parents scramble to find accessible, affordable, high-quality child care. As the number of after-school programs increases and the child-care field expands, various agendas are being promoted about the "appropriate" role of these programs in children's lives: academic skill development to improve performance on standardized tests, social competency skills, crime prevention, or welfare reform.