Before- and After-School Options for Children and Youth

Adopted March 2002 – Revised November 2013 – Family Engagement Commission

California State PTA believes that high quality before- and after-school programs for all children and youth can provide engaging and enriching environments that improve academic achievement. Statistics show that such programs improve a number of student outcomes, including increased graduation rates and reduce the likelihood of arrest and incarceration.

California State PTA recognizes that a range of before- and after-school programs is needed to serve children and youth from pre-school through high school. Each program needs to be based on the particular needs of the young people in the community.

California State PTA believes the elements of a quality before- and after-school program include:

Program Design – With the development of academically focused programs that center on:

  •  An array of enrichment, cultural and recreational activities
  • Activities that are developmentally and culturally appropriate for the children they serve
  • Career development and life skills training for middle and high school students
  • Opportunities for children and youth to develop positive relationships with peers and adults
  • Health and wellness through nutritional snacks, exercise programs and prevention information
  • Adequate funding to make programs and resources affordable and accessible

Facilities and Environment – With programs that:

  • Preferably, are school-based with efforts to coordinate facilities and equipment between school and program sites
  • Comply with relevant health and safety regulations
  • Have safe indoor and outdoor space sufficient for a diversity of activities
  • Rely on age appropriate equipment and materials for enhancing learning for participants
  • Provide reasonable accommodations to make the program accessible to students with disabilities which may include providing a private location or specialized medical training for the handling of a student’s personal needs

Partnerships – With key stakeholders, including parents, schools and community organizations, involved in:

  • Collaboration that is responsible for planning, outreach and evaluation
  • Coordination between the school site staff and program staff to enhance the academic components of the program by linking the school day and after-school curriculum
  • Engagement by families in planning to ensure sustained youth participation and assure that the needs of each participant are met
  • Participation by parent and community volunteers as an integral part of the program
  • Active engagement of children and youth in community programs and in community service

Staffing – With programs to include staff members who are:

  • Able to create positive relationships and mentoring opportunities between staff and participants by having adequate staff to participant ratios
  • Qualified with appropriate qualifications including the ability to provide tutoring and homework assistance in accordance with the educational component of the program
  • Involved in staff development that is provided on an ongoing basis and is appropriate to program responsibilities
  • Adequately compensated
  • Evaluated on their job performance on a regular basis

Program Management – With the management and administration of programs that:

  • Implement clear short- and long-term goals developed by the collaboration of key stakeholders
  • Develop and implement relevant policies and procedures
  • Maintain fiscal oversight and sustainability
  • Are evaluated for effectiveness through continuous, multiple measures and result in necessary program modifications
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