Quality Resources

If you are looking for resources to strengthen and deepen your understanding of high-quality programming, access the resources page for promising practices, resource libraries, data and research ideas.


Family And Neighborhood Risks: How They Relate to Involvement in Out-Of-School Time Activities

This Child Trends study analyzes family and community data for children ages 6 to 17 from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health and finds that nearly half of children in high-risk families are not involved in any out of school time activity regardless of neighborhood risk level. While children from all levels of neighborhood risk that do not have high risk families participate in out of school activities at much higher rates.


After School Programs in the 21st Century

The latest “Issues and Opportunities in Out-of-School Time Evaluation” research brief from Harvard Family Research Project draws on seminal research and evaluation studies to address two primary questions: (a) Does participation in after school programs make a difference, and, if so (b) what conditions appear to be necessary to achieve positive results? The 12-page brief concludes with a set of questions to spur conversation about the evolving role of after school in efforts to expand opportunities for children and youth.


Outcome Evaluation: A Guide for Out-of-School Time Practitioners

This Child Trends brief provides a basic review of outcome evaluations, discusses why they are important and when they are useful, and discusses ways they can be implemented in out-of-school time programs. The brief also highlights the experience of an out-of-school time program that has conducted an outcome evaluation and provides a list of helpful evaluation resources.


Using Quality Rating Systems in After School Programs

Afterschool Investments recently posted the strategy brief Using Quality Rating Systems to Promote Quality in Afterschool Programs. This strategy brief examines using a state quality rating system to assess after school programs and promote after school program quality. The brief provides access to quality rating system resources, factors of quality in school-age-care settings, overviews how to make a quality rating system work for after school programs, and strategies for aligning a quality rating system with broader after school professional development efforts.


Infrastructure Development for Afterschool Providers

The Afterschool Investments project recently released “Linking and Learning: Lessons for Afterschool from Early Childhood System-Building Efforts,” which outlines lessons learned from the early childhood movement and how those lessons can be applied to afterschool program and infrastructure development, including brief case studies and examples.


Helping Youth Succeed Through Out-of-School Time Programs

The report reviews and summarizes literature on out-of-school time program quality and identifies a number of program characteristics that seem to be successful in helping young people develop academic, workforce, and life-skills. The report offers recommendations to policy makers and practitioners to support and sustain high quality out-of-school time opportunities for older youth.