Out-of-School Time Services engage school-age children and youth in a variety of social, educational, and recreational activities appropriate to their needs, interests, and abilities. Agencies may provide services at different times, including before school, after school, mid-day, and during school vacations, including summer vacations. They may also describe the services they provide using other terms, such as “after school” or “school age care.” As noted in the Glossary, children and youth between the ages of five and seventeen are considered to be of “school age.”
Note: When Standards Interpretations include multiple examples of ways to demonstrate implementation of a standard, every example will not necessarily be relevant and appropriate for every program or agency. Rather, the examples are intended to provide guidance, by illustrating a variety of different ways to show that a standard is being met. Standards may also be met in other ways not included in the lists of potential examples.
Note: This section of standards (PA-OST) should not be used by agencies whose accreditation agreements have been received by COA on or following July 1, 2010. Agencies should refer to COA's newly revised standards for Youth Development Services (PA-YD). Agencies that have begun their process using this section of standards may continue to do so, or can contact their COA Accreditation Coordinator if they are interested in using the new PA-YD standards.
Rather than focusing solely on the prevention
or reduction of problem behaviors, positive youth development emphasizes the importance of helping young people develop the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical assets that can help them transition to responsible adulthood. Accordingly, community-based programs for children and youth are often designed to provide the supports and opportunities that may help young people have positive developmental experiences and improve the long-term chances that they will become personally and socially stable, involved with their communities, and economically secure. Although some young people have more unmet needs than others, all children and youth may benefit from access to the supports and opportunities that promote resilience and healthy development.