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Program Quality and Development Resources

In September 2014, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California. The purpose of the Quality Standards is to describe high levels of "Quality" of a program at the programmatic, staff, and participant levels. The quality standards are not intended to serve as a compliance tool, but as the following: 

  • A framework of clear expectations for all stakeholders.
  • A guide to inform the After School Division's decision-making, e.g., technical assistance decisions language in requests for application, and policy development.
  • A guide for program providers to assess their own programs in order to help determine what they are doing well and what needs improvement.
  • A guide for parents and youth to identify quality programming.
  • A guide for school principals and district superintendents to reinforce and advance key priorities.
  • A complement to other standards in the State of California focused on quality improvement, e.g., Learning in After School and Summer, Quality Self-Assessment Tool, Quality Self-Assessment Rubric, Center for Youth Program Quality, etc.

The CDE's Expanded Learning Division (EXLD) has created Grantee Orientation videos and Quality Standards in Action videos for the Youth Voice and Leadership (transcript here), Active and Engaged Learning (transcript here), Safe and Supportive Environment (transcript here), and Diversity, Access, and Equity (transcript here) standards. CDE's EXLD is encouraging expanded learning professionals and stakeholders to access, view, download, and share the videos widely.

For each of the Program Topics listed below, access Tools to Download and Online and Community Resources to build capacity within your expanded learning program.

Academic Enrichment

  • After School Connect — Links expanded learning programs with assistance providers so you can partner more effectively, expand capabilities, and improve program quality.
  • SEDL Toolkit — Offers research-based practices, sample lessons, video examples, and resources to support academic enrichment in expanded learning.
  • San Diego County Office of Education Outdoor Education — Develops students’ interest in the natural world around them through a variety of activities.


Engagement Opportunities

Family Literacy/Parent Education

Marketing and Promotion

Program Management Tools

  • Afterschool Alliance — A nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of expanded learning programs and advocating for quality, affordable programs for all children. The site includes information about funding sources, how to start an expanded learning program, and success stories.