Given the rise in dual-career and single-parent families, and the need for monitoring and supervision during out-of-school time, afterschool settings are becoming important contexts for the prevention of problem behaviors and the promotion of the positive development of youth. Research indicates that high-quality afterschool programs can have positive effects on children’s academic, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes. But less is known about how these influences occur and potential mechanisms involved in this nurturing and promotion process. This paper draws upon the current theoretical and empirical literature in school settings and beyond to examine ways in which afterschool settings can be leveraged as a potential nurturing environment. We apply the conceptualization of nurturing environments put forth by Biglan et al. (Am Psychol 67(4):257–271, 2012. doi:10.1037/a0026796), which attends to the minimization of toxic social and biological conditions, reinforcement of diverse prosocial behaviors, limiting opportunities and influences for problem behavior, and promoting psychological flexibility in the pursuit of one’s values and goals. This paper concludes by identifying potential future research directions and practice implications regarding afterschool settings as nurturing environments for all youth.