Commit to Health: What Are The HEPA Standards?

The HEPA standards were created by a national coalition of out-of-school time leaders to create evidence-based, practical values that foster the best possible nutrition and physical activity outcomes for children in grades K-12 attending out-of-school time programs. The HEPA standards have been adopted by many organizations, including NRPA. NRPA is working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to provide technical assistance and planning support to park and recreation sites as they implement the HEPA standards.

In late 2018, the HEPA standards were updated to reflect the comprehensive work that out-of-school time provides to children. High-quality after school programs do more than provide supervised care for students after the school day ends. They've evolved to also support whole-child development, including teaching students healthy behaviors that will carry on into adulthood. Updated this year to HEPA 2.0 by the National Afterschool Alliance (NAA), the standards provide practical, comprehensive guidelines for quality programs to promote healthy behaviors, focusing on both physical and mental health.

The latest version of the HEPA standards includes five content areas and an accompanying set of 48 standards:

  • Content and Quality
  • Staff Training
  • Social Support
  • Program Support
  • Environmental Support

The HEPA standards provide evidence-based framework for understanding and measuring your out-of-school time (OST) program's healthy eating and physical activity and planning for improvement. Implementing the standards and creating continuous improvement plans in these content areas will ensure your programs are setting youth up for success.

Browse the HEPA Standards

News Stories