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The Quality Assessment Tool

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Utah Afterschool Program Quality Assessment & Improvement Tool

The purpose of the Utah Afterschool Program Quality Assessment and Improvement Tool is to assist programs at any stage of development self-assess their progress in four quality areas and to promote relevant training, support, and resources.

Program quality is an ongoing process involving reflection and thoughtful assessment and is best accomplished through inclusion of staff, parents, youth, and community partners in the process.

The Quality Tool is based on the most current national research, quality standards,
and feedback from over 140 out-of-school time/afterschool programs. A statewide
Quality Committee meets regularly to continuously improve and update the
Quality Tool. Improvement recommendations are made from current research,
analysis, and feedback from out-of-school time/afterschool programs throughout
the state of Utah. This process of continuous validation of tool quality keeps the
Quality Tool relevant to the ever evolving out-of-school time/afterschool

The Quality Tool is comprised of 4 quality areas and is applicable to all types of afterschool/out-of-school time programs (schools, recreation/government, community-based/non-profit centers, and private providers) serving youth of all ages.

1) Be Safe

A quality program provides a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for all participants. Program policies and procedures ensure that staff is professionally qualified and trained, youth are supervised and physical space is suitable for all activities being conducted.

2) Develop Meaningful Relationships

A quality program develops, nurtures and maintains positive relationships and interactions among staff, participants, families, schools and communities. Staff model cooperative and respectful behavior toward youth and adults, and facilitate activities that foster personal growth and social competence.

3) Learn New Skills

A quality program provides a variety of activities that support physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth and development. Active involvement in intentionally designed learning experiences provides youth the opportunity to explore interests, build talents and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

4) Administration

A quality program has clearly defined goals and uses data for ongoing program improvement. It has a sound fiscal management system and provides needs-based training and professional development to strengthen staff skills.