Release of Updated Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs

Every year millions of children and youth attend out-of-school time programs, and millions more might attend if more programs were available.  In an effort to accommodate a wider range of these programs and support their efforts to provide quality experiences that help children and youth thrive, COA launched a full-scale effort to update the accreditation standards for out-of-school time programs.  Based on an extensive literature review and collaboration with a panel of experts, revisions were made to all three sections of standards that apply to these programs: (1) Child and Youth Development Program Administration (CYD-AM), (2) Child and Youth Development Human Resources (CYD-HR), and (3) Out-of-School Time (CYD-OST).  

Highlights of the initiative include the following structural changes:

  • The section of standards that was formerly titled After School and Youth Development (CYD-AYD) has been renamed Out-of-School Time (CYD-OST) to better reflect the range of programs assigned to this section, as well as the terminology used in the field.

  • New OST Programming Supplements address expectations for specific types of activities, including:

     - Arts Education and Enrichment (CYD-OST-AEE);
     - Academic Enrichment and Skill Development (CYD-OST-AESD);
     - College and Career Readiness (CYD-OST-CCR);
     - Health and Wellness (CYD-OST-HW);
     - Homework Help and Tutoring (CYD-OST-HWT); and
     - Mentoring (CYD-OST-MENT). 

Please note that all Supplements are not mandatory for all programs – programs will only implement Supplements that are relevant to the activities they offer.  When programming does not fall within a category addressed in the Supplements, it will be covered only by the generally-applicable standards included in CYD-OST.

In addition, the updated standards include new or enhanced content addressing: 

  • Program climate;

  • Social-emotional development; 

  • Behavior support and guidance;

  • Teaching and learning practices;

  • Planning for personnel recruitment and retention;

  • Personnel development and support; 

  • Continuous quality improvement; and

  • Program design, including the use of logic models that should guide program operations.


    VIEW THE STANDARDS

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