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.