OregonASK recognizes the crucial link between what children and youth experience in afterschool programs and the skills and knowledge of the program staff who work with them. To assist in improving the overall quality of afterschool programs in Oregon, OregonASK and its partners are creating ways to develop and support the professional development infrastructure by:
* Ensuring that afterschool is recognized and supported on state level professional development committees.
* Encouraging and facilitating the development of systems of training.
* Supporting professional development by identifying and supporting trainers.
* Providing technical assistance and resources.
* Educating afterschool professionals using Oregon’s Core Competencies which can lead to an School-Age Credential through our partners at the Oregon Center for Career Development (OCCD).
OregonASK believes that quality afterschool programs are committed to providing each child and youth with an enriching experience that enhances their growth and learning opportunities. OregonASK, as a collaboration, has newly revised the Oregon Quality Framework for Afterschool and Summer Programs. The intention of these documents are to guide programs and professionals in assessing their own level of quality, to assist policy makers in recognizing and supporting quality improvement efforts, and to enhance the overall development and enrichment of children and youth in Oregon.
We are currently updating all Quality documents so please contact us with any questions. More information about Quality Standards is below.
What are Quality Standards? Quality Standards and indicators capture the practices that have been demonstrated, through research, to lead to quality programs. Quality programs, combined with highly qualified staff, result in positive outcomes for children and youth in afterschool and summer programs. The development of the Oregon’s Standards for Afterschool and Summer Programs was led by our Partner Committee of state leaders representing government agencies, higher education institutions, early care and education provider associations, training and technical assistance organizations and other afterschool stakeholders.
The goals for Quality Standards and why they are critical for the field:
- Define what quality afterschool and summer programming looks like.
- Serve as a foundation for decisions and practices in all settings and programs.
- Establish a set of standards that support the professionalization of the child care and youth development field.
- Utilize the latest research.
- Provide an ongoing framework to advance the field and increase the quality of programs offered.
Who are Quality Standards for? Quality standards apply to programs that work with children and youth in afterschool and summer settings. Some examples are 21st Century Community Learning Centers, youth development programs, childcare programs and recreation.
OregonASK Tools & Resources (updated versions coming soon):
- Quality Standards
- Oregon’s Core Competencies
- Administration Guide
“Emerging research on afterschool program quality and its relationship to outcomes indicates that…quality afterschool programs also share the following features: Appropriate supervision and structure, well prepared staff, intentional programming with opportunities for autonomy and choice and strong partnerships among the various settings…schools, programs and families.” -Harvard Family Research Project 2-2008
Best Practices in afterschool are specific practices that facilitate positive outcomes for children and youth and promote high-quality standards for afterschool programming. Best practices are research based and evaluated to show a positive impact on child and youth outcomes.
Promising Practices are tools or models that, based on repetition and experience, have shown to be effective.
Promising practices encompass a broad range of topics from curriculum planning to payment procedures. They include all those things that go on every day and help make positive, high quality programs. You can look at promising practices to see what has worked successfully and adapt those practices to meet the needs of their program.
Click here for program Best and Promising Practices.
The Oregon Quality Framework for Afterschool and Summer Programs documents are the intellectual property of the Oregon Afterschool Network and its component parts, and is protected by relevant local and federal laws. The content in these documents may be reproduced or distributed for informational and educational uses only. The content of the documents may not be modified or edited without the written permission of the Oregon Afterschool Network. If you are referencing or adapting any part of the Oregon Quality Framework as a resource for creating a similar instrument, please acknowledge use of the document(s) in your publication. Prior to referencing or adapting any part of the Oregon Quality Framework, please contact us here.
National Afterschool Accreditation: COA
Council on Accreditation is now responsible for national afterschool accreditation. Please take a moment to visit Council on Accreditation to access comprehensive information on Afterschool Program recognition as well as the standards, process information, answers to some frequently asked questions, and the recognition applications. The COA website also contains links to Afterschool specific self-paced trainings that were developed to assist you and your staff in learning about COA and their standards. In addition, it will help you evaluate which opportunity is the best fit for your program. You can access these trainings by visiting: After School Program Self-Paced Trainings
Resources and Research On Quality
- Supporting Success: Why and How to Improve Quality in After-School Programs
- After-School Toolkit Tips, Techniques and Templates for Improving Program Quality
- The Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs
- Program Best and Promising Practices