Youth Program Quality

School’s Out Washington is building a quality improvement system in Washington State, helping afterschool and youth development programs be the best they can be, so that kids can have the opportunities they deserve to succeed. To do this, promote program achievement of quality standards and offer professional development training and coaching for program staff.

How We Define Quality

The Washington State Quality Standards for Afterschool & Youth Development Programs are based on national research. They define what quality looks like in a program setting and apply to all programs for youth ages five to young adult across our state. School's Out Washington helps programs use these standards to make their programs better through a step-by-step quality improvement process.

Learn More | Download the Standards (pdf)

Getting Started: Assessment and Training Options

The quality improvement system provides assessment and professional development supports to help all programs in Washington be their best.

Conduct an Assessment

The Washington Assessment of Youth Programs includes the following two components:

  • A validated, reliable observational assessment tool developed by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality called the Program Quality Assessment;
  • A management interview unique to Washington State’s assessment developed by School’s Out Washington in partnership with field experts.

These tools provide an objective, structured framework to help organizations discuss, set baseline scores, and track progress on each of the quality standards.

Get Started.

Participate in Professional Development

Staff who receive expert training and coaching to implement the standards, gain the skills and confidence they need to be successful. Successful staff benefit their colleagues, organization, and most importantly the young people who are everyone’s priority. School’s Out Washington offers a variety of different learning opportunities. Get Started.


Do you have questions about Youth Program Quality? Contact us for more information.