Factors that influence after-school care program coordinators' job performance as it relates to documentation of accountability in the National School Lunch Program snack service

Jerry Barrett Cater

Abstract

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 enhanced nutrition benefits for children by expanding the availability of snacks served in qualified afterschool care programs. To be eligible for snack reimbursement, snacks must be served in an afterschool care program operated by a school or school district that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and includes regularly scheduled educational or enrichment activities. A survey, Determining Influential Factors that Affect Accountability of the National School Lunch Program Snack Service in Afterschool Care Programs , was used to determine the level of agreement among school foodservice administrators and program coordinators that the environmental support provided to program coordinators was adequate for documenting accountability. Secondly, the survey was used to investigate whether individual behavior factors influenced job performance related to documenting compliance with the NSLP snack service regulations. The Behavior Engineering Model (BEM) developed by Thomas Gilbert provided the foundation for designing the survey. The study used descriptive statistics to determine the level of agreement between school foodservice administrators and program coordinators that environmental support factors and individual behavior factors influenced the competency of program coordinators when documenting accountability. Independent samples t -tests evaluated similarities and differences between groups for each factor. Results from this study indicated that environmental support factors provided to program coordinators were generally adequate. However, within the environmental support category, both school foodservice administrators and program coordinators perceived several support factors as inadequate. Problems related to accuracy in ordering snacks and appropriate handling of left-over snacks emerged in two environmental support categories. Analysis of individual behavior factors reflected concerns similar to those related to environmental support. School foodservice administrators indicated that program coordinators did not consistently reconcile the number of snacks served plus left-over snacks with the number of snacks received. Survey results suggested that program coordinators were sufficiently aware of accountability requirements for the NSLP snack service. Both school foodservice administrators and program coordinators perceived that program coordinators had adequate knowledge of documentation requirements and were aware of procedures necessary for documenting compliance with regulations.