Core Competencies for Afterschool Professionals apply to people working full or part time with school- age children during their out-of-school time. Settings may include regulated center based child care, family child care, 21st Century (21C) programs, youth development organizations, recreation programs, school-sponsored activities and other programs.
Make up of Core Competencies
The ‘core’ is the foundation. Core Competencies are one of four parts in a framework describing what professionals need to know and do.
Core knowledge refers to the big chunks: the knowledge needed by professionals to effectively work with young children and their families. There are 5 core knowledge areas for afterschool professionals. Early childhood core competencies share the same 5 basic knowledge areas.
- Child and Youth Development
- Families and Communities
- Curriculum and Learning Environments
- Health and Safety
- Professionalism and Program Organization
Subheadings break the core knowledge areas into smaller chunks. They describe the component parts that make up the core knowledge area. For example under the knowledge area: Child and Youth Development one subheading is: Individual Variance
Core competencies are the smallest pieces. They detail the observable skills, values and attitudes needed by professionals in order to provide high quality services. In the competency document are examples of how you might see these core competencies in practice.
Phases sort the core competencies in order from entry level to advanced. The Afterschool core competencies have ascending, overlapping Phases 1, 2 and 3. Each phasel includes competencies from the previous phase. The competencies are the basis for the Afterschool career pathway.
- Phase 1: outlines the common foundation knowledge and skills that are expected of all afterschool professionals.
- Phase 2: includes Phase 1 and expands skills in the areas of program planning, supervision and collaboration.
- Phase 3: includes Phases 1 and 2, and further explores the areas of leadership, administration and community outreach.
The Afterschool Core Competency document can be used as an assessment tool, with three phases of professional growth (Awareness – Development – Achievement).