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ERIC Number: EJ791700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Improving Quality at the Point of Service
Smith, Charles; Akiva, Tom; Arrieux, Dominique; Jones, Monica M.
New Directions for Youth Development, n112 p93-108 Win 2006
The journey into middle childhood frequently involves a journey into the community of an after-school program, weekend club, or summer camp. Although out-of-school-time settings are less formal than school in academic requirements, they have the potential to provide key developmental experiences: relationship building, learning, and self- and social exploration. In this article, the authors draw on a decade of experience from staff at the High/Scope Foundation to develop and validate training models, assessment tools, and improvement methods for use in youth program settings. Through this work, the authors believe that although highly committed and intentional staff drive youth access to high-quality programming, reliance on individual staff is not enough. Regulatory systems and professional communities must also get focused on quality at the point of service. The authors outline a model for youth program quality: what it is, where it occurs, and how it can be effectively and consistently produced. They argue that "quality" is best defined as access to key developmental experiences and that this occurs at the point of service: the place where youth and program intersect. The point of service is embedded within two additional levels: professional community and system. When these levels also focus on quality at the point of service, a culture of intentionality and accountability for quality can emerge that sets priorities, communicates values, and supports action on the part of the frontline staff. (Contains 3 figures and 19 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A