The following is a guest blog by ACT Now Illinois
ACT Now is rolling out the Illinois Quality Program Self-Assessment Tool (IL-QPSA)! Join us for a Sneak Peek Webinar September 14th! Register here.
Who is ACT Now?
The Afterschool for Children and Teens Now Coalition (ACT Now) is a statewide organization that works towards ensuring that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool and youth development programs. ACT Now is a diverse coalition supported by Illinois families, educators, business leaders, afterschool providers, community advocates, youth organizations, and policymakers from across the state.
What are the IL Afterschool Quality Standards?
ACT Now has undertaken an initiative to develop Quality Standards in order to improve afterschool programming around the state. The Quality Standards provide afterschool programs with a common language for describing quality, as well as a “high bar” for individual programs to hold themselves accountable. The Standards are not intended to dictate policy and practices, but instead are intended to suggest and encourage a strong baseline of quality.
What is the IL-QPSA?
The Illinois Quality Program Self-Assessment (IL-QPSA) is a free online strengths-based self-assessment tool that allows individual out-of-school time (OST) providers the opportunity to do self-assessments on their performance based on the Illinois Statewide Afterschool Quality Standards.
Programs will benefit from using the IL-QPSA by identifying and understanding the factors that support or inhibit top performance, utilizing that information to make data driven decisions, continuing to grow and improve, and maximizing positive impacts for staff, youth, families, and community peers. Plus, it’s only a 6 to 7 hour time commitment for the whole year!
Benefits of Participation
As an ACT Now member committed to continuous quality improvement, you will receive a variety of FREE resources that will benefit your program. These resources include: a free weekly newsletter, inclusion in the statewide Afterschool Map and Database, access to online quality standards & resource guides, and access to the IL-QPSA self-assessment tool. Additionally, participation in the tool will provide you with multiple automated reports, a quality improvement action plan, technical assistance, professional development, networking opportunities, as well as three 45-minute webinars throughout the year that will help guide you through the assessment process. Upon completion of the self-assessment process, you will receive a certificate and poster that highlights your commitment to quality improvement and positive youth development.
ACT Now looks forward to supporting you in your efforts to continuously improve the quality of afterschool programs!
For more information: Susan Stanton (ACT Now-Network Lead) StantonS@metrofamily.org