There are many reasons to expect that embedding social and emotional learning (SEL) into out-of-school-time (OST)
programming would benefit children and youth. OST settings provide a unique opportunity for promoting SEL as they tend to have greater flexibility in their goals and mission and do not face the curricular demands that can undermine SEL efforts during the school day. OST settings also tend to be less formal and structured, offering increased opportunities to develop the type of close, trusting relationships that enhance SEL. In addition, many of the goals of OST programs are also the goals of SEL programs, and at least one study indicates that OST
leaders are more likely to say that SEL is central to their mission than education leaders.