Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (CA-OST) 11: Programming and Activities: Health and Wellness

Activities designed to promote health and wellness enable children and youth to: 
  1. make healthy food choices;
  2. develop their fitness and athletic abilities;
  3. improve mental and emotional wellness; and/or
  4. avoid adverse health outcomes (e.g., substance use, teen pregnancy).
NA Health and wellness programming is not a core element of the programs run by the organization.
2020 Edition




Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.
Note: Please note that the more general expectations included in CA-OST 9 also apply to the activities addressed in this core concept.
Note: See CA-OST 18 for health-related expectations that apply to all organizations seeking accreditation. Please note that when opportunities for physical activity are limited to unstructured free play, organizations will be covered by CA-OST 18.03 instead of the standards addressing physical fitness in this core concept.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for maintaining protective sports equipment
  • Curricula for previous six months
  • Programming/activity plans for previous six months
  • Daily schedules for past month
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Children, youth, and families
  • Observe program activities
  • Observe protective sports equipment, if applicable


CA-OST 11.01

Children and youth are helped to understand the importance and benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and are provided with information and support designed to promote well-being, and encourage positive choices, outside program time.
Examples: The focus of content may vary based on program goals. For example, while one program may focus primarily on food or exercise, another may focus more on stress reduction or body image, and another may focus on preventing negative behaviours such as substance use or unprotected sex.


CA-OST 11.02

Organizations that run programs designed to engage children and youth in activities related to food or cooking: 
  1. offer programming that is centered around nutritious foods;
  2. help children and youth understand the nutritional content of the food; and
  3. ensure that activities do not advance the agenda or priorities of a particular food industry.
NA The organization does not provide activities related to food or cooking.
Examples: Children and youth may engage with food in different ways based on the nature of the activity offered. For example, while one program might engage children and youth in purchasing and preparing healthy foods, another might provide the opportunity to grow and harvest a particular crop.


CA-OST 11.03

Organizations that run programs designed to engage children and youth in sports or fitness activities:
  1. offer structured activities designed to support the development of muscles, flexibility, balance, or other physical skills; and 
  2. ensure children and youth are engaged in physical activity for a significant proportion of the activity session.
NA The organization does not provide sports or fitness activities.
Examples: Sports and fitness activities can include, but are not limited to, aerobics, martial arts, weight lifting, dance, yoga, and practice and/or games for competitive or non-competitive sports.


CA-OST 11.04

Sports and fitness activities are designed to: 
  1. recognize effort and maximize play or activity time for all children and youth, regardless of ability; and
  2. promote positive sportsmanship.
NA The organization does not provide sports or fitness activities.

Fundamental Practice

CA-OST 11.05

Appropriate protective sports equipment is used that: 
  1. meets minimum safety requirements;
  2. accommodates heavy usage;
  3. is appropriate to the ages and capabilities of participants; and
  4. is maintained in a safe, hygienic manner.
NA The organization does not offer activities that require protective sports equipment.
Examples: Protective sports equipment includes, but is not limited to, helmets, shin guards, pads, floor mats, etc.