Best Practice Guidelines & Self-Assessment Tools

What does effective after school programming look like in action? How can you improve the quality of your program? There’s a lot of talk these days about assessing program quality by providers, funders and policy makers alike. We all want to be effective at reaching our goals of helping students, but how can you tell what’s working?

The Connecticut After School Network works with programs, funders, and others to assess program quality and establish quality assessment and improvement systems. There are many different program assessment and evaluation models and tools, each with their own strengths and challenges. We can help you decide which process and which tool best suits your particular needs. Some of the different tools we use include:

Other specialty tools are available as well, depending on a program’s specific needs.

Connecticut After School Network staff and consultants can help you with the assessment and evaluation process. Whether it’s choosing a self-assessment tool, providing step-by-step help with the assessment and quality improvement process, or helping to design and implement city-wide quality assessment systems, we’re here to help.

Fees start at $50 per hour. For information contact the Network at 203-483-1846 or email

Consultation Services

Need help preparing for licensing or accreditation? Opening a new site or expanding partnerships? Thinking about strategic planning and sustainability? Revamping your program model?

Call the experts! The staff and consultants at the Connecticut After School Network are experts in every aspect of planning, implementing and evaluating after school and summer programs, and we’re here to help you.

Fees starting at $50 per hour. For information contact the Network at 203-483-1846 or email

State Licensing

School-age children spend their summer and after school hours in a variety of settings, including after school programs run by schools and community based organizations, child care centers, family day care homes, and summer camps. The State of Connecticut considers most programs that serve children under the age of thirteen as child care centers or youth camps and requires them to be licensed accordingly.

Details about licensing, including a description of which programs are exempt, can be found on the state Department of Public Health website here for child care, and here for youth camps.

Questions? Call Ken Anthony, the Network’s Director of Professional Development, at 860-730-2942 or email him at


Accreditation recognizes programs that have achieved the highest levels of quality. The National Afterschool Association (NAA) has transitioned the accreditation process to the Council on Accreditation (COA), which has outlined the process, guidelines and fees for those seeking accreditation after 2008 at

Programs of every size and designation can use these standards to support their continuous quality improvement and long-term sustainability. In addition to accreditation, COA has established two other less rigorous options for smaller programs that do not involve site visits:

  • Registration (programs with 75 or fewer children or budgets under $60,000)
  • Certification (programs with 150 or fewer children or budgets under $120,000).

Call Ken Anthony, the Network’s Director of Professional Development, at 860-730-2942 if you have any questions about accreditation.