Tool kit

Standards for Child and Youth Development (CYD) Programs

These updated standards of best practice for afterschool/out-of-school (OST) time programs were developed by the Council on Accreditation in consultation with leading organizations in the field. They reflect the latest thinking in key practices that are critical for the healthy developmental growth of children and youth through participation in OST programs. They can be used as a tool for program continuous improvement or a step-by-step process for becoming accredited.

Supporting Access to High-Quality Family Child Care: A Policy Assessment and Planning Tool for States, Territories, and Tribes

Family child care (FCC) plays an important role in meeting the needs of families with school-age children. This tool offers a framework for assessing local, regional, and state policies and practices to ensure they support access to high-quality FCC options. It includes sections on: (1) assessing current systems and data; (2) policy strategies to support access to high-quality FCC; (3) initiatives to support the supply and quality of FCC; and (4) outreach; and (5) action planning.

Healthy States: Health and Safety Training Toolkit

This toolkit provides guidance and resources for meeting CCDF health and safety training basic requirements as well as best practice. Topics covered include infectious diseases, medication administration, facilities safety, transportation, emergency preparedness, child abuse and maltreatment, and more. While the focus is on early childhood, there are relevant resources for school-age as well, and direct links to resources that can help states develop their basic health and safety training.

QRIS Resource Guide

The QRIS Resource Guide is a tool for states and communities to explore key issues and decision points in creating or revising Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). There are tabs on components like initial design and implementation, standards, quality assurance and monitoring, and provider incentives and support. Each section includes issues to consider, state examples, and references and resources. The home page also links to state profiles on the QRIS compendium.

Path to Quality

The Path to Quality resource portal provides state system planners with step-by-step guidance and resources to develop quality afterschool systems including information on: (1) designing quality standards, (2) resources and tools aligned to quality standards, and (3) staff supports.

NCASE Out-of-School Time Professional Development System Building Toolkit

The NCASE Out-of-School Time Professional Development System-Building Toolkit was designed to assist states as they build professional development systems inclusive of school-age providers. It also supports states in complying with the provisions of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Final Rule, which are aimed at improving the quality of child care and supporting the early childhood workforce.

A professional development system includes multiple components working together to support the workforce:

Get Geared Up: Financial Planning Resources from the Wallace Foundation

The National Afterschool Association has collected a range of financial planning resources created by the Wallace Foundation that can be helpful for a broad range of nonprofit organizations and also for fiscal management training and college courses.

Active Implementation Early Childhood Specialist Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help early childhood specialists use implementation science approaches in process consultation. The toolkit includes an assessment and implementation drivers' checklist that includes strengths-based questions that a school-age TA professional can use to help create a quality improvement plan for a program. It also includes the Hexagon Tool which can be used to select which program assessment tool or social-emotional framework may best fit with and support school-age program practices. 

Youth Development Guide 2.0: Engaging Young People in After-school Programming

This updated guide offers an introduction to youth development principles and practices to ensure that youth get the most of their Out-of-School Time (OST) experiences. It promotes five key practices to foster healthy youth development: (1) physical and emotional safety, (2) relationship building, (3) meaningful youth participation, (4) community involvement, and (5) challenging and engaging learning experiences.

Engaging Families in Out-of-School Time Programs Toolkit

This toolkit summarizes best practice tools and strategies for fostering family engagement in Out-of-School Time (OST) programs. Developed by BOSTnet years ago based on a four-year initiative aimed at improving youth outcomes through family involvement, this classic tool is still relevant today. It offers a way to self-assess program level of family engagement, as well as strategies and tips for developing and implementing an action plan.