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Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards and Criteria

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 1 - Relationships

The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate child and staff learning and development.


    Building Positive Relationships among Teachers and Families
    • Teachers work in partnership with families, establishing and maintaining regular, on-going, two-way communication.
    • Building Positive Relationships between Teachers and Children
    • Teaching staff evaluate and change their responses based on individual needs. Teaching staff vary their interactions to be sensitive and responsive to differing abilities, temperament, activity levels, and cognitive social development.
    • Teaching staff never use threats or derogatory remarks and neither withhold nor threaten to withhold food as a form of discipline.
    • Teaching staff talk frequently with children and listen to children with attention and respect.
    • Helping Children Make Friends
    • Teaching staff support children's development of friendships and provide opportunities for children to play with and learn from each other.
    • Teaching staff assist children in resolving conflicts by helping them identify feelings, describe problems, and try alternative solutions.
    • Creating a Predictable, Consistent and Harmonious Classroom
    • Teaching staff counter potential bias and discrimination by:
    • Teaching staff promote pro-social behavior by interacting in a respectful manner with all staff and children.
    • Addressing Challenging Behaviors
    • For children with persistent, serious, challenging, behavior, the teachers, families, and other professionals work as a team to develop and implement an individualized plan that supports the child's inclusion and success.
    • Rather than focus solely on reducing the challenging behavior, teachers focus on:
    • Promoting Self-Regulation
    • Teaching staff help children manage their behavior by guiding and supporting children to:

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 2 - Curriculum

The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the areas: social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive.


    Curriculum: Essential Characteristics
    • The program has a written statement of philosophy and uses one or more written curricula or curriculum frameworks consistent with the philosophy that address central aspects of child development.
    • A clearly stated curriculum or curriculum framework provides a coherent focus for planning children's experiences. It allows for adaptations and modifications to ensure access to the curriculum for all children.
    • The curriculum guides teacher's development and intentional implementation of learning opportunities consistent with the program's goals and objectives.
    • The curriculum can be implemented in a manner that reflects responsiveness to family home values, beliefs, experiences, and language.
    • Curriculum goals and objectives guide teachers' ongoing assessment of children's progress.
    • The curriculum guides teachers to integrate assessment information with curriculum goals to support individualized learning.
    • The curriculum guides the development of a daily schedule that is predictable yet flexible and responsive to individual needs of the children. The schedule provides time and support for transitions, includes both indoor and outdoor experiences, and is responsive to a child's need to rest or be active.
    • Materials and equipment used to implement the curriculum...
    • The curriculum guides teachers to incorporate content, concepts, and activities that foster social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development and that integrate key areas of content including literacy, mathematics, science, technology, creative expression and the arts, health and safety, and social studies.
    • The schedule provides children learning opportunities, experiences, and projects that extend over the course of several days and incorporates time for play, self-initiated learning, creative expression, large-group, small-group, and child-initiated activity.
    • The curriculum guides teachers to plan for children's engagement in play (including dramatic play and blocks) that is integrated into classroom topics of study.
    • Areas of Development: Social-Emotional
    • Children have varied opportunities to engage throughout the day with teaching staff who are attentive and responsive to them, and facilitate their social competence and their ability to learn through interacting with others.
    • Areas of Development: Physical Development
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that support fine-motor development.
    • Children have varied opportunities and are provided equipment to engage in large motor experiences that...
    • Areas of Development: Language Development
    • Children have varied opportunities to develop competence in verbal and nonverbal communication by responding to questions; communicating needs, thoughts and experiences; and describing things and events.
    • Children have varied opportunities to develop vocabulary through conversations, experiences, field trips, and books.
    • Children have varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to have discussions to solve problems that are interpersonal and those that are related to the physical world.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to engage in discussions with one another.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Early Literacy Development
    • Children have opportunities to become familiar with print. They are actively involved in making sense of print, and they have opportunities to become familiar with, recognize, and use print that is accessible throughout the classroom...
    • Children have varied opportunities to...
    • Children have multiple and varied opportunities to write...
    • Children are regularly provided multiple and varied opportunities to develop phonological awareness...
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Early Mathematics
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build understanding of numbers, number names, and their relationship to object quantities and to symbols.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to categorize by one or two attributes, such as shape, size, and color.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to help them understand the concept of measurement by using standard and non-standard units of measurement.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to understand basic concepts of geometry, for example, by naming and recognizing two- and three-dimensional shapes and recognizing how figures are composed of different shapes.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Science
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to learn key content and principles of science such as:
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage them to think, question, and reason about observed and inferred phenomena.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Technology
    • The use of passive media such as television, film, videotapes, and audiotapes should be limited to developmentally appropriate programming.
    • All children have opportunities to access technology (e.g., tape recorders, microscopes, computers) that they can use by themselves, collaboratively with their peers, and with teaching staff or a parent.
    • Technology is used to extend learning within the classroom and to integrate and enrich the curriculum.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts
    • Children are provided many and varied open-ended opportunities and materials to express themselves creatively through music, drama, dance, and two- and three-dimensional art.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Health and Safety
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that encourage good health practices such as serving and feeding themselves, rest, good nutrition, exercise, hand washing, and tooth brushing.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that help them learn about nutrition, including identifying sources of food and recognizing, preparing, eating and valuing healthy foods.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that increase their awareness of safety rules in their classroom, home, and community.
    • Children have opportunities to practice safety procedures.
    • Curriculum Content Areas for Cognitive Development: Social Studies
    • Children are offered opportunities to become part of the classroom community so that each child feels accepted and gains a sense of belonging.
    • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build their understanding of diversity in culture, family structure, ability, language, age, and gender in non-stereotypical ways.
    • Children are provided opportunities and materials to explore social roles in the family and workplace through play.
    • Children have varied opportunities to engage in discussions about fairness, friendship, responsibility, and authority, and differences.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 3 - Teaching

The program uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child's learning and development in the context of the program's curriculum goals.
Designing Enriched Learning Environments
  • Teachers organize space and select materials in all content and developmental areas to stimulate exploration, experimentation, discovery, and conceptual learning.
  • Teachers work to prevent challenging or disruptive behaviors through...
  • Teaching staff and children work together to arrange the classroom materials in predictable ways so children know where to find things and where to put them away.
  • Creating Caring Communities for Learning
  • Teaching staff create and maintain a setting in which children of differing abilities can progress, with guidance, toward increasing levels of autonomy, responsibility, and empathy.
  • Teachers help individual children learn socially appropriate behavior by providing guidance that is consistent with the child's level of development.
  • Teachers manage behavior and implement classroom rules and expectations in a manner that is consistent and predictable.
  • Teachers notice patterns in children's challenging behaviors to provide thoughtful, consistent, and individualized responses.
  • Teachers address challenging behavior by...
  • Supervising Children
  • Teaching staff supervise children primarily by sight. Supervision for short intervals by sound is permissible, as long as teachers check frequently on children who are out-of-sight (e.g., those who can use the toilet independently, who are in the library area, or who are napping).
  • Supervising Children
  • Teachers organize time and space on a daily basis to allow children to work or play individually and in pairs, to come together in small groups, and to engage as a whole group.
  • Teachers create opportunities for children to engage in group projects and to learn from one another.
  • Responding to Children's interests and Needs
  • Teachers use their knowledge of children's social relationships, interests, ideas, and skills to tailor learning opportunities for groups and individuals.
  • Making Learning Meaningful for All Children
  • Teachers use curriculum in all content and developmental areas as a flexible framework for teaching and to support the development of daily plans and learning experiences.
  • Play is planned for each day.
  • Teaching staff help children understand spoken language (particularly when children are learning a new language) by using pictures, familiar objects, body language, and physical cues.
  • Using Instruction to Deepen Children's Understanding and Build Their Skills and Knowledge
  • Teachers use multiple sources (including results of informal and formal assessments as well as children's initiations, questions, interests, and misunderstandings) to...
  • Teachers use their knowledge of content to pose problems and ask questions that stimulate children's thinking. Teachers help children express their ideas and build on the meaning of their experiences.
  • Teachers help children identify and use prior knowledge. They provide experiences that extend and challenge children's current understandings.
  • Teachers promote children's engagement and learning by responding to their need for and interest in practicing emerging skills, and by enhancing and expanding activities that children choose to engage in repeatedly.
  • Teachers promote children's engagement and learning by guiding them in acquiring specific skills and by explicitly teaching those skills.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 4 - Assessment

The program is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children's learning and development. These assessments occur within the context of reciprocal communications with families and with sensitivity to the cultural contexts in which children develop. Assessment results are used to benefit children by informing sound decisions about children, teaching, and program improvement.
    Creating an Assessment Plan
  • The program has a written plan for assessment that describes assessment purposes, procedures, and uses of the results. The plan also includes...
  • The program's written assessment plan includes the multiple purposes and uses of assessment including...
  • Using Appropriate Assessment Methods
  • Programs use a variety of assessment methods that are sensitive to and informed by family culture, experiences, children's abilities and disabilities, and home language; are meaningful and accurate; and are used in settings familiar to the children.
  • Assessments obtain information on all areas of children's development and learning, including cognitive skills, language, social-emotional development, approaches to learning, health, and physical development (including self-help skills).
  • Norm-referenced and standardized tests are used primarily when seeking information on eligibility for special services or when collecting information for overall program effectiveness. When formal assessments are used, they are combined with informal methods such as observation, checklists, rating scales, and work sampling.
  • Staff-developed assessment methods...
  • Identifying Children's Interests and Needs and Describing Children's Progress
  • Teachers assess the developmental progress of each child across all developmental areas, using a variety of instruments and multiple data sources that address the program's curriculum areas. Staff with diverse expertise and skills collect information across the full range of children's experiences.
  • Teachers refer to curriculum goals and developmental expectations when interpreting assessment data.
  • Adapting Curriculum, Individualizing Teaching, and Informing Program Development
  • Teachers or others who know the children and are able to observe their strengths, interests, and needs on an ongoing basis conduct assessments to inform classroom instruction and to make sound decisions about individual and group curriculum content, teaching approaches, and personal interactions.
  • Teaching teams meet at least weekly to interpret and use assessment results to align curriculum and teaching practices to the interests and needs of the children.
  • Teachers interact with children to assess their strengths and needs to inform curriculum development and individualize teaching.
  • Teachers and other professionals associated with the program use assessment methods and information to design goals for individual children as well as to guide curriculum planning and monitor progress.
  • Teachers observe and document children's work, play, behaviors, and interactions to assess progress. They use the information gathered to plan and modify the curriculum and their teaching.
  • Communicating With Families and Involving Families in the Assessment Process
  • Families have ongoing opportunities to share the results of observations from home to contribute to the assessment process.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 5 - Health

The program promotes the nutrition and health of all children and staff and protects them from preventable illness and injury. of 26 complete
  • The program maintains current health records for each child...
  • At least one staff member who has a certificate showing satisfactory completion of pediatric first-aid training, including managing a blocked airway and providing rescue breathing for children, is always present with each group of children. When the program includes swimming and wading and when a child in the group has a special health condition that might require CPR, one staff person who has successfully completed training in CPR is present in the program at all times.
  • The program follows these practices in the event of an illness...
  • Staff and teachers provide information to families verbally and in writing about any unusual level or type of communicable disease to which their child was exposed, signs and symptoms of the disease, mode of transmission, period of communicability, and control measures that are being implemented at the program and that the families should implement at home. The program has documentation that it has cooperative arrangements with local health authorities and has, at least annually, made contact with those authorities to keep current on relevant health information and to arrange for obtaining advice when outbreaks of communicable disease occur.
  • Children of all ages have daily opportunities for outdoor play (when weather, air quality, or environmental safety conditions do not pose a health risk). When outdoor opportunities for large-motor activities are not possible because of conditions, the program provides similar activities inside. Indoor equipment for large-motor activities meets national safety standards and is supervised at the same level as outdoor equipment.
  • To protect against cold, heat, sun injury, and insectborne disease, the program ensures that...
  • For children who are unable to use the toilet consistently, the program makes sure that...
  • The program follows these practices regarding hand washing...
  • Precautions are taken to ensure that communal water play does not spread infectious disease. No child drinks the water. Children with sores on their hands are not permitted to participate in communal water play. Fresh portable water is used, and the water is changed before a new group of children comes to participate in the water play activity. When the activity period is completed with each group of children, the water is drained. Alternatively, fresh portable water flows freely through the water play table and out through a drain in the table.
  • Safeguards are used with all medications for children...
  • At least once daily in a program where children older than one year receive two or more meals, teaching staff provide an opportunity for tooth brushing and gum cleaning to remove food and plaque. (The use of toothpaste is not required.)
  • Ensuring Children's Nutritional Well-being
  • If the program provides food for meals and snacks (whether catered or prepared on-site), the food is prepared, served, and stored in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines.
  • Staff take steps to ensure the safety of food brought from home...
  • The program takes steps to ensure food safety in its provision of meals and snacks. Staff discard foods with expired dates. The program documents compliance and any corrections that it has made according to the recommendations of the program's health consultant, nutrition consultant, or a sanitarian that reflect consideration of federal and other applicable food safety standards.
  • For all children with disabilities who have special feeding needs, program staff keep a daily record documenting the type and quantity of food a child consumes and provides families with that information.
  • For each child with special health care needs or food allergies or special nutrition needs, the child's health provider gives the program an individualized care plan that is prepared in consultation with family members and specialists involved in the child's care. The program protects children with food allergies from contact with the problem food. The program asks families of a child with food allergies to give consent for posting information about that child's food allergy and, if consent is given, then posts that information in the food preparation area and in the areas of the facility the child uses so it is a visual reminder to all those who interact with the child during the program day.
  • Clean sanitary drinking water is made available to children throughout the day.
  • Liquids and foods that are hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit are kept out of children's reach.
  • Staff do not offer children younger than four years these foods: hotdogs, whole or sliced into rounds; whole grapes; nuts; popcorn; raw peas and hard pretzels; spoonfuls of peanut butter; or chunks of raw carrots or meat larger than can be swallowed whole. Staff cut foods into pieces no larger than 1/4-inch square for infants and 1/2 inch square for toddlers/twos, according to each child's chewing and swallowing capability.
  • The program prepares written menus, and posts them where families can see them, and has copies available for families. Menus are kept on file for review by a program consultant.
  • The program serves meals and snacks at regularly established times. Meals and snacks are at least two hours apart, but not more than three hours apart.
  • Maintaining a Healthful Environment
  • The routine frequency of cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces in the facility is as indicated in the Cleaning and Sanitation Frequency Table 1. Ventilation and sanitation, rather than sprays, air freshening chemicals, or deodorizers, control orders in inhabited areas of the facility and in custodial closets.
  • Procedures for standard precautions are used and include the following...
  • A toy that a child has placed in his or her mouth or that is otherwise contaminated by body secretion or excretion is either to be (a) washed by hand, using water and detergent; then rinsed, sanitized, and air dried or (b) washed and dried in a mechanical dishwasher before it can be used by another child.
  • Staff maintain areas used by staff or children who have allergies or any other special environmental health needs according to the recommendations of health professionals.
  • Classroom pets or visiting animals appear to be in good health. Pets or visiting animals have documentation from a veterinarian or an animal shelter to show that the animals are fully immunized (if the animal should be so protected) and that the animal is suitable for contact with children. Teaching staff supervise all interactions between children and animals and instruct children on safe behavior when in close proximity to animals. Program staff make sure that any child who is allergic to a type of animal is not exposed to that animal. Reptiles are not allowed as classroom pets because of the risk for salmonella infection.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 6 - Teachers

The program employs and supports a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children's learning and development and to support families' diverse needs and interests.
    Preparation, Knowledge, and Skills of Teaching Staff
  • When working with children, all teaching staff demonstrate the ability to...
  • Before working alone with children, new teaching staff are given an initial orientation that introduces them to fundamental aspects of program operation including...
  • Teachers are licensed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and hold an early childhood endorsement, see Table 2.
  • Assistant teachers-teacher aids (staff who implement program activities under direct supervision) have a high school diploma or GED and...
  • Teacher's Dispositions and Professional Commitment
  • All teaching staff evaluate and improve their own performance based on ongoing reflection and feedback from supervisors, peers, and families. They add to their knowledge and increase their ability to put knowledge into practice. They develop an annual individualized professional development plan with their supervisor and use it to inform their continuous professional development.
  • All teaching staff continuously strengthen their leadership skills and relationships with others and work to improve the conditions of children and families within their programs, the local community or region, and beyond. Teaching staff participate in informal or formal ways in local, state, or regional public-awareness activities related to early care by joining groups, attending meetings, or sharing information with others both at and outside the program.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 7 - Families

The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child's family to foster children's development in all settings. These relationships are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture.
Knowing and Understanding the Program's Families
  • Program staff use a variety of formal and informal strategies (including conversations) to become acquainted with and learn from families about their family structure; their preferred child-rearing practices; and information families wish to share about their socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Program staff ensure that all families, regardless of family structure; socioeconomic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds; gender; abilities; or preferred language are included in all aspects of the program, including volunteer opportunities. These opportunities consider each family's interests and skills and the needs of program staff.
  • Sharing Information Between Staff and Families
  • Program staff inform families about the program's systems for formally and informally assessing children's progress. This information includes the purposes of the assessment, the procedures used for assessment, procedures for gathering family input and information, the timing of assessments, the way assessment results or information will be shared with families, and the ways the program will use the information.
  • When program staff suspect that a child has a developmental delay or other special need, this is communicated to families in a sensitive, supportive, and confidential manner and is provided with documentation and explanation for the concern, suggested next steps, and information about resources for assessment.
  • Program staff communicate with families on at least a weekly basis regarding children's activities and developmental milestones, shared care-giving issues, and other information that affects the well-being and development of their children. Where in-person communication is not possible, program staff communicate through established alternative means.
  • Nurturing Families as Advocates for Their Children
  • Program staff encourage families to raise concerns and work collaboratively with them to find mutually satisfying solutions that staff then incorporate into classroom practice.
  • Program staff encourage and support families to make the primary decisions about the services that their children need, and encourage families to advocate to obtain needed services.
  • Program staff provide families with information about programs and services from other organizations. Staff support and encourage families' efforts to negotiate health, mental health, assessment, and educational services for their children.
  • Program staff use established linkages with other early education programs and local elementary schools to help families prepare for and manage their children's transitions between programs, including special education programs. Staff provide information to families that can assist them in communicating with other programs.
  • To help families with their transitions to other programs or schools, staff provide basic general information on enrollment procedures and practices, visiting opportunities, and/or program options.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 8 - Community Partnerships

The program establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children's communities to support the achievement of program goals.
Linking with the Community
  • Program staff maintain a current list of child and family support services available in the community, based on the pattern of needs they observe among families and based on what families request (e.g., health, mental health, oral health, nutrition, child welfare, parenting programs, early intervention/special education screening and assessment services, and basic needs such as housing and child care subsidies). They share the list with families and assist them in locating, contacting, and using community resources that support children's and families' well-being and development.
  • Program staff develop partnerships and professional relationships with agencies, consultants and organizations in the community that further the program's capacity to meet the needs and interests of the children and families that they serve.
  • Program staff identify and establish relationships with specialized consultants who can assist all children's and families' full participation in the program. This assistance includes support for children with disabilities, behavioral challenges, or other special needs.
  • Accessing Community Resources
  • Program staff use their knowledge of the community and the families it serves as an integral part of the curriculum and children's learning experiences.
  • Acting as a Citizen in the Neighborhood and the Early Childhood Community
  • The program encourages staff to participate in joint and collaborative training activities or events with neighboring early childhood programs and other community service agencies.
  • Program staff are encouraged and given the opportunity to participate in community or statewide interagency councils or service integration efforts.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 9 - Physical Environment

The program provides a safe and healthful environment with appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate child and staff learning and development.
Indoor and Outdoor Equipment, Materials and Furnishings
  • A variety of age and developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available indoors and outdoors for children throughout the day. The equipment includes...
  • The indoor environment is designed so staff can supervise children by sight and sound at all times without relying on artificial monitoring devices. In semiprivate areas, it is always possible for both children and adults to be observed by an adult from outside the area.
  • Materials and equipment that facilitate focused individual play or play with peers are available in sufficient quantities to occupy each child in activities that meet his or her interests.
  • Indoor space is designed and arranged to...
  • Outdoor Environmental Design
  • Outdoor play areas, designed with equipment that is age and developmentally appropriate and that is located in clearly defined spaces with semiprivate areas where children can play alone or with a friend, accommodate...
  • Program staff provide for an outdoor play area that is protected by fences or by natural barriers to prevent access to streets and to avoid other dangers, such as pits, water hazards, or wells.
  • The outdoor play area is arranged so that staff can supervise children by sight and sound.
  • The findings of an assessment by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector are documented and available on-site. The assessment documents...
  • Building and Physical Design
  • There is a minimum of 35 square feet of usable space per child in each of the primary indoor activity areas. (The primary activity area does not include diaper stations, cribs, large structures that cannot be removed or moved aside easily, toilets, any sick-child area, staff rooms, corridors, hallways, stairways, closets, lockers or cubbies, laundry rooms, janitor rooms, furnace rooms, storage areas, and built-in shelving. Specialty areas such as computer rooms, reading rooms, and lunchrooms, where children are expected to remain seated for short periods of time, may be excluded from the minimum space requirement.)
  • Facilities meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements. Accessibility includes access to buildings, toilets, sinks, drinking fountains, outdoor play space, and all classroom and therapy areas.
  • The routine frequency of cleaning and sanitation in the facility is carried out as indicated in the Cleaning and Sanitation Frequency Table. Staff clean and sanitize toilet seats, toilet handles, toilet bowls, doorknobs, or cubicle handles and floors either daily or immediately if visibly soiled. Staff clean and sanitize potty chairs, if in use, after each child's use.
  • Program staff protect children and adults from hazards, including electrical shock, burns or scalding, slipping, tripping, or falling. Floor coverings are secured to keep staff and children from tripping or slipping. The program excludes baby walkers.
  • Fully equipped first-aid kits are readily available and maintained for each group of children. Staff take at least one kit to the outdoor play areas as well as on field trips and outings away from the site.
  • Fully working fire extinguishers and fire alarms are installed in each classroom and are tagged and serviced annually. Fully working carbon monoxide detectors are installed in each classroom and are tagged and serviced annually. Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are tested monthly, and a written log of testing dates and battery changes is maintained and available.
  • Any body of water, including swimming pools, built-in wading pools, ponds, and irrigation ditches, is enclosed by a fence at least four feet in height, with any gates childproofed to prevent entry by unattended children. To prevent drowning accidents, staff supervise all children by sight and sound in all areas with access to water in tubs, pails, and water tables.
  • Environmental Health
  • Documentary evidence, available on-site, indicates that the building has been assessed for lead, radon, radiation, asbestos, fiberglass, or any other hazard from friable material. Evidence exists that the program has taken remedial or containment action to prevent exposure to children and adults if warranted by the assessment.
  • When the water supply source is a well or other private source (i.e., not served by a public supply), on-site documentary evidence verifies that the local regulatory health authority has determined the water to be safe for human consumption.
  • All rooms that children use are heated, cooled, and ventilated to maintain room temperature and humidity level. The maintenance staff or contractor certifies that facility systems are maintained in compliance with national standards for facility use by children.
  • The facility and outdoor play areas are entirely smoke free. No smoking is permitted in the presence of children.

Show Criteria | Show ExamplesStandard 10 - Leadership and Management

The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, fiscal, and program management so all children, families and staff have high-quality experiences.
  • The program has a well-articulated mission and philosophy of program excellence that guide its operation. The goals and objectives relate to the mission, philosophy, and all program operations and include child and family desired outcomes.
  • The program administrator has the educational qualifications and personal commitment required to serve as the program's operational and pedagogical leader. The administrator...
  • The program, regardless of its size or funding auspices, has a designated program administrator with the educational qualifications detailed in Criterion 10.2. When a program has a total enrollment of fewer than 60 full-time equivalent (FTE) children, employs fewer than eight FTE staff, or both...
  • Management Policies and Procedures
  • The following procedures are in place:\nWritten procedures address the maintenance of developmentally appropriate teaching staff-child ratios within group size, see Table 4 to facilitate adult-child interaction and constructive activity among children;\nTeaching staff-child ratios within group size are maintained during all hours of operation, including indoor time, outdoor time, and during transportation and field trips (when transporting children, the teaching staff-child ratio is used to guide the adult-child ratio);\nGroups of children may be limited to one or may include multiple ages. (A group or classroom consists of the children assigned to a teacher or a team of teaching staff for most of the day and who occupy an individual classroom or well-defined space that prevents intermingling of children from different groups within a larger room or area.)
  • Fiscal Accountability Policies and Procedures
  • Financial policies and the procedures to implement them provide evidence of sound fiscal accountability using standard accounting practices. Financial policies and procedures are consistent with the program's vision, philosophy, mission, goals, and expected child outcomes. Operating budgets are prepared annually, and there is at least quarterly reconciliation of expenses to budget. A system exists to review or adjust the budget if circumstances change, and it includes a yearly audit. Budgets are reviewed and amended as needed. Fiscal records such as revenue and expenditure statements, balance sheets, banking reconciliation, etc.) are kept as evidence of sound financial management.
  • Health, Nutrition, and Safety Policies and Procedures
  • The program has written policies to promote wellness and safeguard the health and safety of children and adults. Procedures are in place that address...
  • The program has written procedures to protect children and adults from environmental hazards such as air pollution, lead, and asbestos, according to public health requirements.
  • The program has a written policy for reporting child abuse and neglect as well as procedures in place that comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws. The policy includes requirements for staff to report all suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect, or both by families, staff, volunteers, or others to the appropriate local agencies. Staff who report suspicions of child abuse or neglect where they work are immune from discharge, retaliation, or other disciplinary action for that reason alone unless it is proven that the report is malicious.
  • The program has written procedures to be followed if a staff member is accused of abuse or neglect of a child in the program that protect the rights of the accused staff person as well as protect the children in the program.
  • The program has written procedures that outline the health and safety information to be collected from families and to be maintained on file for each child in one central location within the facility. The files are kept current by updating as needed, but at least quarterly. The content of the file is confidential, but is immediately available to...
  • Written procedures address all aspects of the arrival, departure, and transportation of children. The procedures...
  • Transportation services are managed and program vehicles are licensed and insured in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. Certification of licensing and insurance is available on site.
  • The program has written and posted disaster preparedness and emergency evacuation policies and procedures. Procedures designate an appropriate person to assume authority and take action in an emergency when the administrator is not on site...
  • The program has written, up-to-date, comprehensive procedures to prepare for and respond to medical and dental emergencies for children and adult staff. The procedures include...
  • Personnel Policies
  • The program has written personnel policies that define the roles and responsibilities, qualifications, and specialized training required of staff and volunteer positions. The policies outline nondiscriminatory hiring procedures and policies for staff evaluation. Policies detail job descriptions for each position, including reporting relationships; salary scales with increments based on professional qualification, length of employment, and performance evaluation; benefits; and resignation, termination, and grievance procedures. Personnel policies provide for incentives based on participation in professional development opportunities. The policies are provided to each employee upon hiring.
  • Hiring procedures ensure that all employees in the program (including bus drivers, bus monitors, custodians, cooks, clerical and other support staff) who come in contact with children in the program or who have responsibility for children...
  • Programs maintain current health information from documented health assessments for all paid staff and for all volunteers who work more than 40 hours per month and have contact with children. A current health assessment (not more than one-year-old) is received by the program before an employee starts work or before a volunteer has contact with children. The health assessment is updated every two years. Documented health assessments include...
  • Staff are provided space and time away from children during the day. When staff work directly with children for more than four hours, staff are provided breaks of at least 15 minutes in each four-hour period. In addition, staff may request temporary relief when they are unable to perform their duties.
  • Confidential personnel files, including applications with record of experience, transcripts of education, healthassessment records, documentation of ongoing professional development, and results of performance evaluation, are kept in a secure location.
  • All staff are evaluated at least annually by an appropriate supervisor or, in the case of the program administrator, by the governing body.