Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (PA-OST) 10: 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.
NA Arts programming is not a core element of the programs run by the agency.
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 PA-OST 9 also apply to the activities addressed in this core concept.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • 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

PA-OST 10.01

Programming is focused on at least one of the following major arts disciplines: 
  1. visual arts;
  2. dance;
  3. music; and/or
  4. theatre.
Examples: Some programs may find it helpful to partner with local agencies and providers to improve programming and access specialized resources. Examples of relevant arts agencies include, but are not limited to: museums, theatres and theatre troupes, arts education agencies, school arts and music educators, and local businesses such as dance studios or music halls.

PA-OST 10.02

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.

PA-OST 10.03

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.

PA-OST 10.04

In an effort to help children and youth develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts, the agency: 
  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.


Agencies 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.
Examples: Children and youth may experience the arts through activities such as visiting a museum, attending a musical or cultural performance, or meeting with a local artist.

PA-OST 10.05

Children and youth have opportunities to learn about careers and options for higher education related to the arts.