Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (PA-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 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.
Note: See PA-OST 18 for health-related expectations that apply to all agencies seeking accreditation. Please note that when opportunities for physical activity are limited to unstructured free play, agencies will be covered by PA-OST 18.03 instead of the standards addressing physical fitness 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
  • 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

PA-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 behaviors such as substance use or unprotected sex.

PA-OST 11.02

Agencies 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 agency 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.

PA-OST 11.03

Agencies 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 agency 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.

PA-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 agency does not provide sports or fitness activities.

Fundamental Practice

PA-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 agency 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.