Children and youth enrolled in quality afterschool, before school and/or summer programs, also known as out-of-school-time (OST) programs, have higher school attendance, behave better and score higher on tests than those who do not attend programs. A parent survey from 2014 states that one barrier to OST enrollment is that the quality of care in afterschool programs is not satisfactory. The goal of Learn 24 is to ensure that youth across the District have access to high quality programs.
Choosing a quality afterschool or summer program is very important because a poor program can have a negative impact on your child.
Look for the following as signs of a quality OST program:
- Clear program goals and activities that support those goals
- Clean and safe spaces
- Resources available that offer structured activities
- Schedules that allow youth time to learn, practice skills and participate in various activities like arts, sports, music, etc.
- At least one adult for every 15 youth from ages 5 - 17
- Staff and tutors who are trained to offer help with homework, if needed
- Staff who relate well to youth
- Staff who manage groups well
- Staff who maintain high expectations and keep youth motivated
- Flexible attendance policy to meet your child’s needs
- Reasonable cost
- Established and reliable communication with parents and school staff