How to Choose an Activity

It’s all about quality! Before choosing a program, review this checklist on how to find an after-school program with your child that’s right for you.

A.    Find out what the program is about

  • Will this program help you learn new skills?
  • Do you get to make choices about what to do?
  • Does the program allow you to express yourself?
  • Is there a chance for you to do something new and/or important to you?
  • Can you build on a talent or interest you have?
  • Does the program have a clear purpose that speaks to you?
  • Does the program connect to the community and/or other organizations that you want to learn more about?

B.    Think about the staff and whether you’ll enjoy being around them

  • Does this program give you an opportunity to meet new people?
  • Does the staff encourage feedback from families and youth?
  • Does the staff seem to work well together?
  • Are the youth there having a good time?
  • Does the staff seem excited to meet you?
  • Is the staff passionate about their subject?

C.    Make sure to get all the information you need about joining the program

  • Is there an enrollment deadline?
  • Do you have to fill out an application?
  • Are there rules about how often you must come to the program?
  • Are there eligibility requirements?
  • What are the times that the program is offered?

D.    Visit the program space before enrolling

  • Do you feel comfortable, safe and respected in the space?
  • Is the space clean and well maintained?
  • Is the location easy to get to? Is there a nearby bus route?



If you would still like more information, PASA, along with parents, providers and youth, has developed a list of standards to assess after-school programming. These standards help inform providers on what they are doing well and in what areas they need to make improvements.