We know quality programs result in fantastic outcomes for youth, but WHAT IS QUALITY?
That short question is such an important topic in our work. Afterschool providers need to understand how to define quality to help structure their programs to best support youth, increasing the likelihood of positive youth outcomes. At the Missouri Afterschool Network, we utilize the David P. Weikart Youth Development model to support the programs we work with in regards to quality. This approach is “based in positive youth development research, and the desire to create a safe, supportive, and productive environment for youth.” The overall idea being, it is the youth worker’s job to set up the environment in such a way that the youth is fully supported to thrive in all areas of development. Below you will find resources to help you define and gauge areas of quality in your own program.
State Standards and Core Competencies
These resources are a good starting place for defining quality and assisting you in recognizing what quality can look like.
- Missouri Afterschool Program Standards
- Missouri Afterschool Program Standards Self Assessment
- Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Development Professionals
Licensing and Accreditation
Being a licensed or accredited program gives your program the opportunity to document the achievement of set standards. Learn more at the links provided: