New Orleans Youth Program Quality Initiative


What is YPQI?

The Youth Program Quality Initiative (YPQI) was launched in 2015 to establish a system that would raise the bar for quality in out-of-school-time programs in New Orleans and produce better developmental outcomes for children and youth for years to come. YPQI is based on the David P. Weikart Center for Program Quality’s youth program quality intervention, which has been adopted by more than 4,000 programs in 41 states. This model draws on the latest research on youth program quality to assist program staff in assessing the quality of their programs, planning for improvement, and participating in coaching and professional development experiences that help them institute measurable quality improvements.


Components of YPQI

Each organization that participates in the ten-month YPQI pilot receives the following supports:

  • Two external assessments of the instructional quality of their programming;

  • Unlimited staff access to a series of ten professional development workshops for instructional staff to adopt best practices in quality youth development;

  • More than 20 hours of direct training in establishing quality improvement practices as an organization;

  • At least twenty hours of coaching for continuous quality improvement over the course of a school year;

  • Assistance in setting quality improvement goals;

  • Access to a peer learning community

  • Access to an online database that tracks quality assessment data and progress on quality improvement plans developed by the organization’s staff; and

  • A variable grant to support quality improvement efforts


Our Impact

  • 130 summer and year round programs that serve more than 12,000 children per week have participated

  • 1,210 youth workers have completed a professional development training

  • 110 people have received a national certification as a quality assessor or trainer

  • 160 improvement plan goals have been created by teams of program staff, ranging in focus from child safety to expanding youth leadership and voice.

  • Program staff and managers consistently report that YPQI is a good use of their time. 



In 2018, NOLA-YPQI outgrew its successful pilot and continues under the New Orleans Youth Alliance.