The National Afterschool Association Core Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Out-of-School Time Professionals (CKSCs) have been developed to enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities–particularly from school officials–that has long been sought after. The CKSCs outline what professionals who work with and for youth need to know, show, and grow to positively impact young people and the field. The CKSCs can be used across organizations, programs, and funding streams to define what it takes to work with and for children and youth. They can also guide the development of compensation structures, inclusive and culturally responsive hiring  practices, professional development (PD) and PD plans, career pathways, credentials and qualifications, and mechanisms for demonstrating and assessing practitioner’s skills.


1.   Child/Youth Growth and Development

2.   Learning Environments and Curriculum

3.   Child/Youth Observation and Assessment

4.   Relationships and Interactions with Children and Youth

5.   Youth Engagement, Voice, and Choice

6.   Equity and Inclusion

7.   Family, School, and Community Relationships

8.   Safety and Wellness

9.   Program Planning and Development

10. Professional Development and Leadership​​

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