Click here to access the Resource on School Connections (PDF)

OST Map Out-of-school time (OST) programs in Pennsylvania serve K-12 and are available before- and afterschool, including weekends and summer. PSAYDN, with the generous support from foundations, EECapacity and Harrisburg University, has led the development of the state’s only online, searchable database that identifies all OST (afterschool) programs in Pennsylvania. The map is the culmination of this effort. Using existing state lists of licensed school-age childcare providers (OCDEL) and statewide surveys, a listing of nearly 5,000 OST programs are available to date. STEM-rich institutions are being identified and also added.


Keystone STARS Optional Tools & Worksheets

The following documents can be found by selecting Keystone STARS, Forms & Tools on the left-hand menu.

Optional Tools:

  • School-Age: Activity Schedule-Week-at-a-Glance by Key Learning Area
  • School-Age: Aligning Curriculum with the First Grade Standards
  • School-Age: Aligning Curriculum with the Second Grade Standards
  • School-Age: Curriculum Statement Template
  • School-Age: Lesson Plan Template

Keys to Quality Afterschool: Environment, Relationships and Experiences (PDF): This best practices guide is designed to provide a framework for continuous quality improvement. This toolkit consists of ten chapters. The first chapter introduces the Generations approach to understanding school-age care and identifies how Environments, Relationships, and Experiences (ERE) influence children’s growth and development. Each subsequent chapter highlights a specific content area related to “best practices” and engages the reader in transfer of knowledge and reflection through stories, examples, inquiries, charts, and strategies for implementation. Each chapter can be used as a stand-alone resource for professional development, staff meetings, and independent research or study by practitioners. Look for guidelines, concrete activity ideas, and unique strategies for supporting children’s development and best practices in program design.

Afterschool Quality

Keys to Quality Afterschool: Spotlighting Best Practice, Tools and Resources in Out-of-School Time

Learning Standards

Research & Reports

  • Creating Quality School-Age Child Care Space. Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Community Investment Collaborative for Kids (CICK) project recently released a new report. This resource, written by a team of architects, outlines best practices in the design and improvement of after-school environments for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The report addresses the importance of the physical environment in shaping the interactions and experiences of children in after-school child care, while also recognizing that after-school care is often located in space-constrained areas that can be borrowed, shared or rented.
  • Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning RAND Research Brief Full Report. In June, July and August, many students forget some of what they learned over the previous school year. But “summer slide” takes its biggest toll on low-income students, contributing substantially to the achievement gap between them and better-off youngsters. This major RAND study also finds evidence that summer programs can help, identifies obstacles to providing them, analyzes costs, and offers recommendations.
  • America After 3PM Special Report on Summer  these valuable programs each summer. The demand for programs is very high, especially among those who need them most.
  • Cost of Quality: Out-of-School Time Programs Research Brief Full Report  Based on a detailed examination of 111 high-quality after-school and summer programs in six cities, this report estimates costs for strong programming. It attributes wide cost differences to factors such as how many hours programs operate and the ages of children served. An on-line cost calculator can help users figure out the costs of various programs.
  • Cost of Quality: Out-of-School Time Cost Calculator This online calculator lets users determine the costs of a variety of options for high-quality out-of-school time (OST) programs. In addition to the cost calculator, this website includes short case studies, funding strategies, and how quality considerations factor into program costs.
  • The Impact of After-School Programs That Promote Personal and Social Skills – A report found that youth programs were most successful at improving youth outcomes when their activities were sequences, active, focused and explicit (SAFE). When compared to programs that did not have these characteristics, SAFE programs improved youths feelings of self-confidence, positive feelings toward school, grades and achievement test scores.
  • Massachusetts Afterschool Research Report (MARS) – The MARS Study identified key quality components of afterschool programs and explored the relationship between program quality components, staff attributes and positive youth outcomes.
  • The Quality Imperative: A State Guide to Achieving the Promise of Extended Learning Opportunities – This new report highlights the positive impact high-quality Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) have on student success and outlines steps that state leaders can take to ensure ELO effectiveness.
  • School-Age Success Story: Pennsylvania’s After-School Quality Project (Office of Child Care Technical Assistance Network): This document describes how Pennsylvania provides school-age supports through their Quality Rating and Improvement System, Keystone STARS. Pennsylvania’s After-School Quality project is highlighted.