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June 13, 2023

block stacked to look like a staircase with the arrows pointing up stepsThroughout history, humans have demonstrated an intrinsic urge to create, and then to improve on existing innovations. We went from a horse and buggy to a Model T, from a lantern to a flashlight, and from sundials to alarm clocks on our wrists. If we foster creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, the results often improve our lives. Fortunately, we can’t seem to leave well enough alone. How often do you apply that kind of thinking to your program? Well, it can be daunting to think about how you’d “innovatively improve” if you don’t quite know where to begin. Thankfully, Y4Y’s newest Quality Program Quickstarter module, Continuous Improvement, enables you and your staff to set goals, observe progress, and monitor problems so your program flourishes to the next level.

It’s a Whole Process...

During continuous improvement planning, you and your staff may ask these questions:

  • How will we know if we’re meeting the needs of our students and families?
  • What data will tell us whether we’re on track?
  • Is there a way to make sure we implement activities with fidelity?
  • Is there a tool we can use to illustrate our plans and guide our work?

Like anything worth doing, it’s a whole process. But thankfully, it’s completely doable with a continuous improvement plan! Think of this plan as the trail markers that keep you on the right path. Just like it’s helpful to check in with nature and recenter your mind, applying a continuous improvement process helps you regularly assess your goals, outcomes, and implementation practices. This QPQ presents five steps:

  • Define
    • Do this first to give everyone a clear understanding of the purpose and goals of your program.
  • Implement With Fidelity
    • How will you know if your program is meeting its goals if you don’t regularly check in? This Implementing With Fidelity Guide will get you on the right track.
  • Collect Data
    • Program directors who work from solid evidence often make better decisions about sustainable changes. This Data Tracking Packet will help with data collection.
  • Analyze
    • Analyze your data to answer the question: “How are we doing?”
  • Improve
    • Use the data you collected to celebrate your progress and plan any necessary improvements!

The Nature of Change

Change can be unsettling, but humans have proved we’re good at adapting! With Y4Y’s Continuous Improvement QPQ, you can combine change, consistency, and good old-fashioned facts and figures to create a program that is sure to be ahead of its time.

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