As a leader in youth development, the YMCA of Greater Houston serves over 9000 children ages 5-12 on a daily basis, providing safe, quality and affordable after school care in approximately 200 sites in 22 school districts. Enrollment is open to any child ages 5-12 who is a student of the school/district in which the site is located.
To monitor overall program quality, the YMCA uses the nationally recognized, validated instrument, the Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tool, which is designed to measure the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs. The tool is used to assess in the following areas:
- Safe and supportive environment
- Staff and youth interaction and engagement
- Youth- centered policies and practices
Results from each site assessment are used to identify areas of success and identify opportunities for improvement through a continuous improvement plan. Follow up training is available to staff based their individual professional skills and competencies. The Y was an early adopter of this program and has been a part of the United Way of Greater Houston Quality Improvement System for 5 years.