Afterschool Quality

The IAA’s primary mission is to expand access to high-quality afterschool programs. Thus, one of our main strategies is to support Iowa’s afterschool programs to improve and maintain the quality of programming available to children and families. Below are links to resources on quality afterschool programming. Have a question or need more information? Contact Michelle Rich at

Iowa Afterschool Standards and Corresponding Indicators of Quality

In 2008, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance developed comprehensive standards and corresponding indicators of quality afterschool programming. Indicators (how you know you’re meeting the standard of quality) are listed in this document for each of the following categories:

  1. Positive Human Relationships
  2. Appropriate Indoor and Outdoor Environments
  3. Effective Programming
  4. Strong Partnerships
  5. Effective Administration
  6. Effective Staffing and Professional Development
  7. Youth Development Principles and Practices
  8. Outcome Measurement
  9. Fiscal Management
  10. Advocacy

The IAA has developed the Policy and Community Leader’s Guide to Quality Afterschool Programmingto help you talk to stakeholders about the meaning of quality afterschool, its importance, and how they can support you in program improvement.

Iowa currently serves high-need children at 57 different sites across the state through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. This is the single, sole funding source for afterschool in Iowa. The 21CCLC model has three primary components: 1) Academic Support, 2) Academic Enrichment, and 3) Parent Engagement.

21CCLC Model

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is under contract with the Iowa Department of Education to provide support and technical assistance to Iowa's 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Services provided to Iowa's 21CCLCs include conducting site visits to identify best practices, developing a network infrastructure to share these best practices and provide professional development and resources throughout the year to promote expanded access and quality of programs.

The IAA maintains a wiki site for current and former Iowa 21CCLCs, as well as potential applicants to the program. This site can be found at

Map of Current Iowa 21CCLC Sites

View Iowa 21st Century Community Learning Centers 2013 in a larger map

 Other helpful resources on quality afterschool:
Iowa’s Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies
Iowa Department of Human Services Child Care Provider Training Registry
Community! Youth Concepts
Iowa Department of Education
Iowa Department of Public Health
National Afterschool Association
Foundations, Inc.
The Harvard Family Research Project

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