Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. In addition, NAA offers a variety of opportunities for virtual professional development (PD) through meaningful content, conversations and connections. Click here to see full descriptions of virtual PD offerings.

Care about Health Equity for Kids? Care about Job Quality for Adults

Wednesday, 01 March 2023 10:52

Before-school, after-school, and summer enrichment programs are a valuable part of the ecosystem—along with schools and other services- supporting young people, families, and communities. 

When staffed with skilled and knowledgeable professionals, OST programs create many positive experiences and outcomes for youth. 

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), NAA is excited to move into year two of the project, the Collaborative for Advancing Health Equity in OST, in partnership with Education Development Centers.

“ Our work is focused on improving the health and well-being of youth and staff in Out-of-School Time (OST) programs, with a particular focus on groups that have been marginalized and are the most impacted by health disparities.” – Kate Goddard, Project Director.

See the intentional mention of staff? As we work to increase the health and well-being of youth, we must also support job quality for the professionals who do this critical work. Job quality impacts worker recruitment and retention, staff well-being, professional development, and overall program quality. OST professionals create experiences and relationships that benefit young people. 

Low-quality jobs in our profession impact workforce stability and destabilize families and communities. 

If we don’t make changes, then as we try to support populations, out of poverty, to better health and better quality of life, we are perpetuating some of the inequitable systems that cause these problems in the first place. 

If we can’t attract people to the profession and keep them, we will not be able to provide the services that kids, families, and communities need, much less at the most impactful levels of quality. And ultimately, the positive impact is why we do this work.