Module 1 Outcome C: The student will be able to identify child and youth development frameworks pertaining to positive youth outcomes.
All of us, having been children, have some ideas about how children can be supported in their development.
In fact, if we are talking about high-level ideas, most of us probably agree on what’s most important. If you were to do a random poll of adults on the topic, chances are that many would list safety, clear limits, caring relationships with adults, caring relationships with other children, and opportunities to learn new skills and information. However, if you polled those same adults about how an adult can ensure that all of these aspects happen daily in school-age child care, responses will be much less unanimous. Yet that is your charge.
Fortunately, the Afterschool and Youth Development field has been around for several decades, and we’ve learned many lessons along the way. In the past couple of decades, in fact, positive youth development has had renewed attention in the research literature. Researchers have been studying effective and less effective programs, and several organizations have arranged the findings from this research into frameworks that can guide school-age child care providers in the day-to-day work, helping us to provide care in ways that are proven to lead to positive outcomes for children.
In 2002, the National Research Council published a meta-analysis of successful youth development programs, identifying common attributes. In 2005, the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (CYPQ) published an observational tool for programs that correlated with these attributes. Programs could self-assess and work to build on strengths and address areas of concern. Since publication, CYPQ has developed several supports, including workshops, tools for different age groups, and coaching supports, to help providers offer high-quality care.
In the current decade, Temescal Associates and the Learning in Afterschool and Summer (LIAS) Project have reviewed the research and developed some core learning principles for afterschool programs. They believe that afterschool programs (which include licensed school-age child care) should be seen as key places where learning happens, but in a different way than it is happening in the schools.
These are three examples of frameworks that can help guide programs to ensure that the care they deliver leads to positive child outcomes. All three are nationally recognized and currently in use. They are not the only models, but they encompass most of the ideas found in others. They all include reference to safety, caring relationships, and opportunities to learn new skills and information; those broad, well-agreed upon ideas. But all three give more detail, and more guidance for how to implement these ideas in daily practice.
Source: Leisure Information Network
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