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Professional Growth and Development

Professional growth and development is an important investment in strengthening and expanding the skills and abilities of program providers who work in afterschool settings.  Research findings indicate that, as a result of having staff attend trainings, programs recognized improvements in their environments, discipline procedures and communication practices among staff and with youth. (Gore, J.S. & Anderson, Cl.L. (1996).  Does school-age child care staff development make a difference? Results of an outcome evaluation.)

It is important to shed light not only on the connection between professional development and program quality, but on the link between professional development and youth outcomes. While a gap exists in research in the out-of-school time field on this link, there is evidence in related fields, such as early childhood programs, that suggest a connection between staff professional development and impact on youth outcomes. These studies show promise for the impact of afterschool professional development.

Core Competencies

Upon completion of the Denver Quality Standards for Afterschool Programs, the Denver Afterschool Alliance will begin working on the development of core competencies for afterschool program providers. Core Competencies will be developed in order to identify the knowledge and skills an afterschool provider needs to work effectively with children and youth. They define what professionals need to know and be able to do in order to provide quality child and youth programming and help to establish a set of standards that support the professionalization of the field of afterschool.


Highly skilled, trained program providers are paramount to a quality afterschool program. Local training opportunities sponsored by the Denver Quality Afterschool Connection (DQUAC) are listed below. Fall 2014 training opportunities will be posted soon! 

Planning with Purpose

October 16, 2014, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Boys Scouts Head Quarters-6th & Kipling

Cost:  $10 for non DQUAC members.  Free to champion DQUAC members.
To register or learn how to become a DQUAC member, contact: or call 720.423.1814

Bringing Lessons to Life

November 20, 2014
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

$10 for non DQUAC members.  Free to DQUAC Champions.
To register or learn how to become a DQUAC member, contact: or call 720.423.1814

Training location:
The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver
2017 West 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204


December 11, 2014
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Cost:  $10 for non DQUAC members.  Free to DQUAC Champions.

To register or learn how to become a DQUAC member, contact: or call 720.424.1814

Training location:
Boys Scouts Headquarters 
6th & Kipling


Professional Growth and Development Resources

Many professional associations provide, promote or advocate for high-quality learning experiences for children and youth outside of the classroom.  

Denver Quality Afterschool Connection (DQUAC) 
A coalition of youth service providers, working together to promote the importance of quality in out-of-school-time programming, both after school and during summer.

National Afterschool Association
The leading national voice of the afterschool profession dedicated to the development, education and care of children and youth during their out-of-school hours.

National Summer Learning Association
A network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country, the National Summer Learning Association provides tools, resources and expertise to improve program quality, generate support and increase youth access and participation in summer programs.

The American Camp Association 
The American Camp Association (ACA) is a community of camp professionals who, for 100 years, have joined together to share knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs.  As a leading authority in youth development, ACA works to preserve, promote and improve the camp experience. 

Afterschool Training Toolkit 
Resources that can help to build fun, innovative and academically enriching activities that not only engage youth, but extend their knowledge in new ways and increase academic achievement. 

The California Afterschool Resource Center
Provides free online training sessions designed exclusively for afterschool program providers.  Topics covered academics, nutrition, health and safety, and physical activity.

You for Youth 
This site is designed to support the important work and play that happens in an afterschool program. The focus of this site is on learning and professional development, for every staff member at every level of the program. The learning experiences, tools, resources and contacts on this website come from afterschool experts, education researchers and people at real afterschool programs.

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Denver Afterschool Alliance
Maxine Quintana