To improve program quality, it is important to move beyond after-school programs that serve as child care facilities or recreation centers, or that measure success only by attendance figures. Attendance neither assures success nor measures a program's quality. Engagement, not attendance, leads to successful outcomes and program quality. Engagement incorporates both the motivation to get involved as well as active interaction and cognitive involvement. Research does not show that simply offering a wide variety of activities increases program quality. Staff training has also not led to improvement in program quality, even when training hours were increased. Evidence-based programs also do not guarantee program quality either, since poor implementation can obstruct the benefits of an evidence-based program.
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