December 1, 2015 marked the release of the long-awaited Georgia Afterschool & Youth Development (ASYD) Quality Standards.
Why this is a big deal
- Over 280,000 of Georgia’s school-aged children participate in an afterschool program, but those programs can look vastly different from provider to provider. The ASYD Quality Standards directly address this by building a shared understanding around what quality afterschool means.
- Georgia joins 32 other states that have quality standards for their afterschool programs. The release of Georgia’s standards shows a commitment by the state to provide Georgia’s youth with enriching experiences after the last school bell rings.
- These standards will help families and stakeholders understand what quality afterschool programming looks like.
- Most importantly, the quality standards will ultimately help afterschool programs help ensure our youth are on track to succeed in school, work and life.
So, what are these quality standards?
- The Georgia ASYD Quality Standards are a framework providers can use to evaluate and improve their programs, and they are organized in nine categories called quality elements.
- The standards can help providers figure out what they are doing really well, and where they could improve.
The goal is for ALL afterschool programs in Georgia to use the ASYD Quality Standards to help ensure Georgia’s youth are receiving enriching, high-quality out-of-school time experiences.
To help afterschool and youth development programs learn about and utilize the ASYD Quality Standards Self-Assessment Tool, workshops are currently being offered across the state introducing the standards and providing programs with the tools to begin a quality improvement process. Additionally, the 2016 Georgia ASYD Conference, which is being held September 21-23 in Columbus, Georgia, will have three days of dynamic, engaging workshops all aligned to the new standards. For more information, and to register for the workshops and conference, visit www.georgiaasyd.org.
Help us get the word out – talk to the afterschool and youth development programs in your community and make sure that they know about these new resources and opportunities! Together, we can work to ensure all youth have access to quality afterschool programs.
The Georgia ASYD Quality Standards is a collaborative project funded and endorsed by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the Georgia Department of Education, and the Georgia Department of Public Health. To learn more, go to georgiaasyd.org