Maine Roads to Quality supports school age programs seeking Accreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA).
COA Accreditation will help to guide school age programs through the self study process. The COA Website http://www.coaafterschool.org provides tools such as the COA Accreditation Standards of Quality and resources to help programs assess their readiness for accreditation:
- A program community that has a shared vision of what it wants to accomplish for the children and youth it serves.
- Staff who build warm relationships with children and cooperative relationships with each other.
- Training for staff on topics which affect their work.
- High priority on welcoming families as partners in their child’s growth and the program’s development.
- Indoor space that is cozy and comfortable, and works well for different children’s needs.
- Outdoor space that allows children to be independent and creative.
- Responsibility for the safety, health and nutrition of the children in your program.
- Activity choices for children which reflect their interests and needs, their cultural backgrounds, developmental levels and personalities.
- Administrative systems that fully support the program.
(ASQ Team Leader’s Manual, p. 3)
If the answer is yes, you may be ready for COA Accreditation. This is a five step process that helps you, and a team of people committed, examine the quality of your program and make the changes that will lead to better practices.
- Examining your program's current policies and practices
- Onsite observation by Accreditation Facilitator
- Applying for COA Accreditation
- Six month self-study through COA
- COA Endorser Onsite Visit for Accreditation
COA's After School Program Standards include After School Administration (ASP-AM), After School Human Resources (ASP-HR), and After School Programming and Services (ASP-PS). The Administration Standards cover practices related to coninuous quality improvement, financial management, risk prevention and management, and ethical practice. The Human Resources Standards address recruitment and selection, training and professional development, support, and supervision. The Programming and Services Standards set forth additional recommended practices for working with children and youth in out-of-school time.
Your program will complete all three sections of standards. Taken together, the standards represent a set of practices that support quality programming and promote positive outcomes for children and youth.
Every program can benefit from using the Program Standards and Observation Tool for program improvement. Programs should use the Program Observation Tool to rate how closely their program meets the standards of quality. Once programs have decided to apply and begin the six month self-study process, endorsers from COA will visit the program and review documentation to determine if the program has successfully met the standards for accreditation.
For more information: regarding COA Accreditation, go to their website at www.coaafterschool.org
To inqure about COA Accreditation support through Maine Roads to Quality Accreditation Facilitation Project, please contact Pam Prevost, COA Accreditation Facilitator at 333-6402 or firstname.lastname@example.org To apply for an application to become part of a statewide cohort of school age programs pursuing School Age Accreditation together with Maine Roads to Quality support, you can download an application.
- Email and phone support
- Onsite visits and observations for technical assistance
- Connection with providers who are accredited
- Cohort facilitation
- Funding to support accreditation fees as funding allows
- All cohort members must be a member of the Maine Roads to Quality Registry and the Quality for ME Rating System.