The Quality of School-Age Child Care in After-School Settings

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Child and Early Education Research Connections

Although research indicates that regular participation in high-quality after-school programs yields many positive developmental benefits for school-age youth, the programs themselves sometimes struggle with assessing and improving their quality. This brief examines research linking program quality to positive outcomes; reviews current practices in program quality assessments; and lists program quality assessment tools.

Examples of key quality features include appropriate supervision and program structure; an environment that fosters positive youth-adult relationships; programming with opportunities for autonomy and choice; and good relationships among the various settings in which program participants spend their days. Research Connections is a partnership between the National Center for Children in Poverty, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, and agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Free. 16 pages. (202) 690-7885,