NAA Has So Much To Offer! Check Out Some Highlights From The June Newsletter

OST Job Quality Standards

We’re thrilled to share the release of the OST Job Quality Standards (JQS), a groundbreaking resource developed by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to elevate the out-of-school time profession and support the well-being of OST professionals nationwide.

In collaboration with leading experts and stakeholders in the field, NAA has developed the OST Job Quality Standards to provide a comprehensive framework for defining and promoting “good jobs” in the OST sector. These standards, grounded in empirical evidence and best practices, offer actionable guidelines to enhance job quality, promote workforce development, and address recruitment and retention challenges.

With four pillars, sixteen elements, and sixty-seven indicators, the OST Job Quality Standards serve as a roadmap for creating equitable, inclusive, and fulfilling work environments for OST professionals. By prioritizing job quality, we aim to create a more stable and effective OST workforce, ultimately improving program access, quality, and outcomes for young people across the nation. The corresponding Usage Guide & Assessment provides various audiences with a roadmap for effectively using the OST Job Quality Standards.

Watch for a registration link for our July 25 webinar  to learn more about the standards and NAA’s recommendation for implementation in policy, advocacy, funding, and afterschool leadership.

Join us in championing job quality in afterschool programs! Explore the OST Job Quality Standards today and join the movement to build a thriving OST workforce. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of youth and communities everywhere.

Afterschool for All Challenge 2024 Highlights

Earlier this month, 200 advocates from across the country arrived in Washington, D.C. to take part in the Afterschool for All Challenge. On June 11, afterschool and out-of-school time advocates attended meetings and workshops on Capitol Hill to urge their elected officials to support increased funding for afterschool and summer learning programs across the country. Read more highlights about the Challenge from our strategic partners at the Afterschool Alliance.

New Paper from Change Impact Offers Strategies for OST Career Pathways

In March 2024, Change Impact released Youth Work 2.0: Expanding Career Pathways for the Youth Development Sector. This paper addresses familiar and longstanding challenges in OST and afterschool staffing, including high staff vacancies and turnover rates. This issue has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a dramatic increase in concerns about staffing among program providers. In Youth Work 2.0, Change Impact proposes the creation of sustainable and attractive career pathways to address these issues.

The National AfterSchool ASsociation, through our Thriving OST Workforce Initiative and our recently-announced strategic partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, has emphasized the need for intentional job design and a concerted commitment to building a strong youth development workforce. Change Impact’s white paper highlights accessible strategies to engage career development, which in turn not only improve program quality but also invest in the workforce, enhancing individuals’ earning potential and creating a pathway to a flourishing career.

By focusing on training and career development, Change Impact has collaborated with numerous agencies to develop and implement promising strategies. These efforts are in their early stages but have shown positive results and widespread acceptance among partners. The white paper outlines three key strategies for career development and provides practical tools for equitable workforce development. It also includes examples from partners demonstrating the benefits of investing in youth workers and a curated list of new resources on the topic.