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Program Administration

This section provides resources in areas related to effective program management and administration. Effective program management and administration is an important part of a quality afterschool program. Resources on this page range from staffing to professional development to engaging parents. Once you have gotten your program off the ground, the work is not over. These resources will help programs ensure that they are effective and sustainable.

On this Page:


Human Resources: Staffing Out-of-School Time Programs in the 21st Century 

This paper offers several recommendations for mitigating the challenge of hiring a stable, high-quality staff for your afterschool program.

Using Professional Development to Increase Staff Retention 

This article discusses professional development as a strategy for retaining staff.

Data & Evaluation

Does Attendance Really Count in Our Afterschool Program? A Tool for Self Assessment, AttendanceWorks

A Guide to Issues and Strategies for Monitoring Attendance in Afterschool and Other Youth Programs, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

 Afterschool Evaluation 101: How to Evaluate an Expanded Learning Program

Whether you are new to evaluation or looking to improve your existing systems, this guide from the Harvard Family Research Project is for you.  The guide will walk you through developing a logic model, choosing the focus of your evaluation, selecting the evaluation design, and analyzing the data.

Out-0f-School Time Program Evaluation: Tools for Action

This resource includes stakeholder surveys and focus group questions for student participants, parents, teacher, program staff, and program partners. It also includes tips on who to organize and conduct focus groups and methods of analyzing data so accomplishments can be presented.

Learning for All: The Value of Field Experience in Training a New Generation of Program Evaluators

This article provides a summary of what consultants did to strengthen evaluation practices for partner organizations and what the organizations did to make the experience productive.

OST Data and Evaluation: Collecting and Sharing Data to Support Communities 

This webinar discusses how out-of-school time fits into expanded learning opportunities and year-round learning, a new tool designed to guide OST leaders through the evaluation process, selecting and collecting the best data for your evaluation, and collecting and sharing data with families and the community.

Framing Program Evaluation: Why We Should Tinker With Theories of Change and Logic Models 

The Harvard Family Research Project had the chance spoke with graduate students who work with organizations to address their evaluation needs. There was one clear conclusion, no matter how rudimentary or advanced your evaluation plans might be, developing or refining your theory of change and its corresponding logic model is essential.

Logic Models in Out-of-School Time Programs: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

This brief describes logic models, identifies why they are useful, discusses different types of logic models, the formats they take, and resources available to programs for creating them.

Afterschool Youth Outcomes Inventory 

This inventory looks at four outcome categories- Social/Emotional, Academic, College & Work Readiness, and Health & Wellness. Each category includes context for what achievement of the outcome could look like.

Data-Driven Decision Making In Out-of-School Time Programs

This resource presents the findings from a review of research Child Trends conducted on what is known about decision-support data systems.

From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes

This resources is a review of ten youth outcomes measurement tools that can be used in the afterschool setting.

Literacy Capacity Assessment Tool: For School-Age Programs

This tool was created to help programs assess the underlying foundations that must be in place in order for literacy enrichment to have the maximum benefit for the children in the program.

Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) Rating Scales, Pearson

The SSIS (Social Skills Improvement System) Rating Scales enables targeted assessment of individuals and small groups to help evaluate social skills, problem behaviors, and academic competence

ACA Youth Outcomes Battery

American Camp Association offers data-gathering youth self-report measures that focus on common camp outcomes related to skills that build successful contributing members of our society. Questionnaires are statistically tested, program-specific, age-appropriate, easily administered tools and they can be customized to any program.

4-H Positive Youth Development Student Questionnaire

This short youth deevelopment student questionnaire measures the 5 C’s (Competence, Connection, Confidence, Caring and Character), developed by Richard Lerner and colleagues as part of the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development.

Evaluation Instrument Search

The National 4-H Healthy Living Mission Mandate Task Force compiled the following evaluation resources via literature searches, internet search engines, websites, and referrals from experts in the field.  Measures were reviewed and scored by professionals in the field in order to determine the appropriateness for assessing different construct areas.

Toolfind (search engine)

Toolfind is a free dictionary designed to help professionals in youth-serving programs find measurement tools for up to 14 youth outcome areas.

Framing Program Evaluation: Why We Should Tinker with Theories of Change and Logic Models

This publication from the Harvard Family Research Project explores the importance of developing or redefining your theory of change and its corresponding model in the evaluation process.

Looking at the Data: Afterschool Programs Using Data to Serve Students, Afterschool Alliance

Parent Engagement

Focus on Families: How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After School

This comprehensive, easy-to-read guide from the Harvard Family Research Project covers offers a research base for why family engagement matters, concrete program strategies for engaging families, case studies of promising family engagement efforts, and an evaluation tool for improving family engagement practices.

Increasing Family and Parent Engagement in After-School

This guidebook from TASC outlines 15 examples of how site coordinators and staff are successfully engaging parents at their after-school programs. It also contains sample materials sites can use to improve parent involvement

Engaging with Families in Out-of-School Time Learning – Harvard Family Research Project

Instant Assets CD: 52 Short and Simple E-mails for Sharing the Asset Message

Simply cut, past, and send! This CD from the Search Institute contains 52 ready-made email messages to educate parents about the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.

Making Parents/Families Feel Welcome and Valued, BOSTnet

Engaging Families in Out-of-School Time Programs Toolkit, BOSTnet


Developing an Effective Communications Plan for your Summer Meals Program

This recorded webinar from No Kid Hungry will provide a process to develop a comprehensive communications and outreach plan, tools to help you implement your strategy, and examples of effective outreach in action.

Summer Meals Program Media Toolkit

This toolkit from No Kid Hungry will help you get the word out about your summer meals program.

Communicating with Children: Principles and Practices to Nurture, Inspire, Excite, Educate and Heal

This resource uses knowledge from the fields of child development and media studies in order to better understand the implications these norms have on what and how we can communicate most effectively with children.

Professional Development

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (Resources and Training)

This online resource center provides the materials necessary to build and sustain the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework. Materials emphasize the impact PBIS has on social, emotional, and academic outcomes of students with disabilities.

Making the Most of Staff Meetings

There may not always be time for a full day of professional development.  Click 2 Science’s meeting resources will help you make the most of your staff meetings by incorporating staff training into each meeting.

Planning Considerations for Afterschool Professional Development 

This article includes implementation guidelines to help afterschool staff plan for effective professional development. It also includes resources that can assist with the planning process and a framework to help afterschool providers evaluate professional development needs and plan trainings.

Afterschool Professional Development: Resources, Outcomes, and Considerations 

This paper outlines why professional development is critical and how you can maximize opportunities and resources, clarify a variety of forms, styles, and types of professional development, identify and explain common factors that serve as principles for effective professional development, and suggest and explore considerations for decision-makers in afterschool programs.


The Road to Sustainability Workbook

This sustainability workbook will help you better understand sustainability and how to create a plan to get you there.  From finding funding to creating a long-term action plan, this is the guide for you.

Advisory Boards: The Backbone of Your Afterschool Program (Recorded Webinar)

Advisory Boards as the backbone of your program. This webinar discusses advisory boards, participatory planning, vision and goals, and needs assessment and asset mapping.

Administrative Management Capacity in Out-of-School Time Organizations: An Exploratory Study 

OST time programs provide an important opportunity for development and enhancing quality of life for OST participants and their families and communities. This study seeks to identify management capacity needs in out-of-school time providing organizations.

Building Stronger Nonprofits Through Better Financial Management

This report summarizes a report that describes financial management challenges that programs faced at the start of the Strengthening Financial Management in Out-of-School Time initiative (SFM), as well as their progress. The report also provides early lessons for OST funders and nonprofits.

Finding Funding for Youth Programs (Book)

This book shows you how to take advantage of untapped resources in the community through friend-raising and fundraising.

The Skills to Pay the Bills: An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances 

This study examines an initiative that seeks to improve the financial management skills and practices of 25 afterschool providers through training and coaching.

TIES FeePay Online Fee Payment and Administration

This resource is a comprehensive school maintenance software that integrates grading, attendance, scheduling and reporting into one database.

Resources for Nonprofit Financial Management, Wallace Foundation

Building Capacity for Better Results, Strategies for Financing and Sustaining the Organizational Capacity of Youth-Serving Programs

Beyond the Award Letter: Fund Management for Leaders of Small Youth-Serving Organizations, Finance Project

Beyond the Paycheck: A Human Resources Management Guide for Leaders of Small Youth-Serving Organizations, Finance Project

Beyond the Checkbook: A Financial Management Guide for Leaders of Small Youth-Serving Organizations, Finance Project

Moving Towards Success: Framework for After-School Programs, C.S. Mott Foundation

Building Capacity for Better Results: Strategies for Financing and Sustaining the Organizational Capacity of Youth-Serving Programs, The Finance Project

Stories from the Field: Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits, Wallace Foundation

Resources for Nonprofit Financial Management, Wallace Foundation

Sustainability Workbook, Afterschool Alliance