VPOST's Best Practices



Our Best Practices were developed in partnership with fellow OST stakeholders in Virginia by looking at both local and national models of quality standards. Out-of-school time providers can utilize the Best Practices as tool to assess program quality either alone or in conjunction with other quality assessments. They were intentionally formed broad enough to apply to the wide variety of programs including rural and urban settings, school and community-based programs and those serving diverse youth populations of varying backgrounds, ages and abilities. Furthermore, the Best Practices can provide context to the recommended standards of our field, particularly as they operate here in Virginia. 



Key Guiding Principles

Our Best Practices are Endorsed By:


  • Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs: From the National Center for Quality Afterschool, this guide contains information about both the academic and the organizational and management practices focused into four areas of program organization, academic programming practices, supportive relationships in afterschool and achieving program outcomes.
  • Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools, 2nd: From the Forum for Youth Investment, this is an extensive guide designed to compare the purpose, structure, content and technical properties of several leading youth program quality assessment tools. 
  • Youth Program Quality Improvement: From VCU's Division of Community Engagement, Mary, and Frances Youth Center, in partnership with The United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, this quality improvement process serves participating OST service providers across Central Virginia. Utilizing the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality system, the process empowers education and human service leaders to adapt, implement and scale best-in-class, research-validated quality improvement systems to advance child and youth development.  
  • Youth Today: OST HUB: Youth Today is an independent newspaper for professionals in the youth services field. Their OST Hub provides professional development resources such as publications and webinars for OST providers. Here the Program Quality: Evaluation and Program Assessment portion of the hub, provides materials and resources. 
  • United Way: From United Way, the Out-of-School Time Program Quality toolkit can help providers understand the key elements of program quality, connect to resources from other United Ways and from national organizations working to improve quality.