Recent trends in household dynamics and lengthening workdays have stressed the importance of out-of-school time (OST) programs. Despite the growing need for these OST programs, they cannot thrive and provide high quality programming without professional staff and skilled youth workers. Emerging research in the OST field underscores the importance of professional development for staff who serve youth and highlight standards of practice that should be met by programs in the field.
These standards of practice are often referred to as Competencies, for they articulate what staff and youth workers need to do and know in order to ensure that they are providing high quality programming. Yet these Competencies often differ based on the city, state, or national organization that issues or publishes them. The brown tabs to the left provide additional information on various sets of Competencies for staff in the OST field.