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.
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.
A description of the indoor environment
No On-Site Evidence
Children, youth, and families
Observe facility and materials (indoor)
There is enough room in the indoor space for program activities, and the space is arranged to:
accommodate the activities offered;
minimize crowding and disruptions, including when multiple activities go on at the same time;
promote socialization and interactivity among participants; and
accommodate children and youth who wish to rest or be alone.
The amount of space needed will vary depending on the type of activities offered. For example, there should be approximately 35 to 45 square feet per child/youth for small group enrichment activities such as woodworking, arts and crafts, or science experiments; approximately 25 to 35 square feet per child/youth for quiet activities such as homework, reading, or club meetings; and approximately 75 to 100 square feet per child/youth when indoor space is used for active play (e.g., dance, aerobics, or basketball). Space should also be arranged to accommodate the activities offered with minimal disruption. For example, activities that require water for clean-up should ideally take place near the sink; active play should not disrupt quiet activities (e.g., children and youth doing homework should not be distracted by loud music); and pathways should allow children and youth to move from one place to another without disturbing ongoing activities.
Program furniture is:
in good condition;
appropriate to the ages and sizes of children and youth in the program; and
sufficient to accommodate the number of children and youth in the program.
Program visual displays:
support the goals of the program;
feature work created by program participants (e.g., artwork); and
incorporate items of interest to program participants, including items selected or arranged by children and youth.
Note:As noted in CYD-OST 4.01, the program’s space, including visual displays, should also be sensitive to and supportive of all children and youth regardless of their background, race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, sexual orientation, disability, or ability.
Program supplies and equipment are:
suited to the activities offered and the goals of the program;
designed to support and encourage creativity;
in good condition;
sufficient for the number of children and youth in the program; and
appropriate to the ages and developmental levels of program participants, including for children and youth with differing levels of skill and ability.
When children are required to share materials or equipment (e.g., a computer or microscope) there should be a procedure or system in place to minimize wait time and facilitate orderly access for all. Personnel should also be prepared to substitute equipment as needed (e.g., if children or youth have poor motor skills, personnel might provide thick pencils in lieu of traditional ones).
Note:As noted in CYD-OST 4.01, program materials should also be sensitive to and supportive of all children and youth, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, sexual orientation, disability, or ability.
Note: See the Supplement for OST Programming: Health and Wellness (CYD-OST-HW) for more information on appropriate protective sports equipment.
There is adequate and convenient storage space for equipment, materials, and personal possessions of children, youth, and personnel.
Materials used frequently and works-in-progress should be readily accessible to children and youth, enabling them to get items out, and put them away, with ease. Bulk materials and things not currently in use can be stored in other places. Personnel should rarely have to carry heavy equipment or large amounts of materials long distances, and when it is necessary to do so the program should ideally have portable equipment on wheels.