Standards for child and youth development programs

2020 Edition

Supplement for OST Programming: Arts Education and Enrichment (CYD-OST-AEE) 1: Programming and Activities: Arts Education and Enrichment

Children and youth participate in visual or performing arts activities designed to help them build new skills and increase their understanding and appreciation of the arts.
2020 Edition




 Children and youth who participate in Arts Education and Enrichment activities develop new skills and increase their understanding and appreciation of the arts.
Related Standards:
Note: Please note that the more general expectations included in CYD-OST 8 also apply to the activities addressed in this core concept. For example, activities should accommodate children and youth with differing needs and abilities, as addressed in CYD-OST 8.05; engage children and youth in active learning experiences, as addressed in CYD-OST 8.04; reflect the cultures and interests of children and youth, as addressed in CYD-OST 8.04; include opportunities for meaningful choices and decisions, as addressed in CYD-OST 8.09; and allow sufficient time for practice and improvement, as addressed in CYD-OST 8.06. See CYD-OST 8 for additional expectations regarding programming and activities.    
The program’s practices fully meet the standard, 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.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • A description of programming and activities, including:
    1. type and nature of programming/activities;
    2. opportunities provided to children and youth during programming/activities;
    3. role of personnel
  • Curricula (for previous quarter)
  • Programming/activity plans (for previous quarter)
  • Daily schedules for past month
  • Attendance records (showing totals for each day and weekly averages)
  • Logic model (or equivalent framework)
  • Qualifications of personnel (or others) providing activities (e.g., in personnel records)
  • Staff training materials
  • Documentation that staff training has been provided (e.g., in training files or personnel records)
  • Interview:
    1. Program Administrator
    2. Site Director
    3. Program Personnel
    4. Children, youth, and families
  • Observe program activities


Programming is focused on at least one of the following major arts disciplines:
  1. visual arts;
  2. dance;
  3. music; and/or
  4. theatre.


While some programs may facilitate exposure to a variety of different art forms, others may be designed to encourage deeper engagement with one particular discipline.
Note:  As referenced in CYD-OST 7, it is often wise to partner with local organizations and providers to improve programming and access specialized resources.  Examples of relevant arts organizations include, but are not limited to: museums, theatres and theatre troupes, arts education organizations, school arts and music educators, and local businesses such dance studios or music halls.


Children and youth are:
  1. helped to develop an understanding of concepts and history relevant to the arts discipline of focus; and
  2. engaged in projects that enable them to develop and hone skills relevant to the artistic process.
Related Standards:


The nature of projects, and the skills to be developed, will vary based on program type and goals.  For example, children may be engaged in learning to read and play music, or learning the steps in a dance.


Children and youth are encouraged to:
  1. be creative;
  2. express themselves through their art; and
  3. communicate the ideas and feelings that underlie their work to others at the program.
Note: In order for children and youth to feel comfortable expressing themselves personnel must strive to create a safe and supportive program environment, as addressed in CYD-OST 4.


Children and youth have opportunities to present their work and showcase their skills and accomplishments.
Related Standards:


The nature of presentations will vary based on the focus of the program. For example, while children in a performing arts program might perform in a concert, play, or dance recital, children in a visual arts program might host an exhibition of their paintings or sculptures.


In an effort to help children and youth develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts, the program:
  1. arranges for children and youth to view performances or exhibits related to the program’s area of focus; and
  2. provides opportunities for children and youth to reflect on the experience and discuss their impressions.


As stated in the standard, the program should ideally facilitate arts experiences that relate to the program’s area of focus. For example children might visit a museum, attend a musical or cultural performance, or meet with a local artist. Programs that are unable to facilitate visits to other venues can still provide opportunities for children to experience and think critically about art, for example, by discussing a recorded concert or paintings in a book.


Children and youth have opportunities to learn about careers and options for higher education related to the arts. 
Note: Programs specifically designed to help youth prepare for college and career should also complete CYD-OST-CCR.


Arts education and enrichment activities are provided by trained and qualified personnel, or in partnership with experts or educators from a collaborating arts organization.