The CORT provides a systematic framework to observe and document interactions and experiences that occur within a classroom. The goal of this measure is to assess and document caregivers’ strengths and areas for growth by observing actual caregiving practices. This measure covers the many domains that make up a high-quality child care environment. The observation tool is divided into five domains: Language & Literacy, Responsive Relationships, Balanced & Differentiated Instruction, Comprehensive Caregiving, Family-Centered Practice
Each of these domains is comprised of key skills or practices. Training & Curriculum Specialists or Program Managers should use this tool to observe and document a caregiver’s use of these key practices. The T&CS or program manager should carefully observe interactions and experiences offered by the caregiver and document the caregiver’s competency for each skill. This information can then be used to help identify strengths, opportunities for improvement, and goals for caregivers.
This tool is intended to be used to observe caregivers’ practices related to quality interactions and experiences and document their level of mastery. For each skill, the observer will mark the caregivers’ level of mastery as Emerging, Developing, or Mastered. When rating a skill, take into account only the caregiver’s actual behavior during your observation on that skill. The skill levels build on each other, so a caregiver may show some skills under emerging and some under developing, or some developing skills and some as mastered. When documenting a caregiver’s skill level, try to pick the competency level that best fits the materials, behaviors, and skills you see in the child care environment. For example, if a caregiver mostly has interactions on a specific skill that you would classify as developing, but you see one or two emerging skills, that caregiver could likely be classified as developing on that skill. However, a caregiver who shows mostly emerging skills and some developing qualities on a skill likely fits better in the emerging category. During an observation you will only see a snapshot of the child care environment and teaching practices. If there is a domain on the observation form that you did not observe or do not think you observed sufficiently to identify the caregiver’s current skills level, rather than trying to rate the domain, indicate this by rating the item as 0.
Staff member is building their understanding and use of the skill.
Staff member understands the practice but is still working to consistently implement it.
Staff member demonstrates a clear understanding of the skill and implements the practice consistently.
Language & Literacy
Quality Reading Materials
Learning environment has a variety of developmentally appropriate print and reading material with a wide range of vocabulary, themes, and pictures.
Limited number of developmentally appropriate reading and print materials.
- Most books are scribbled on or torn
- Chapter books in a preschool learning environment
- Some books unknowlingly reinforce stereotypes or provide limited scope (only Disney books)
“Enough” reading materials and books but limited thought is put into the content of the materials.
- People and characters in books do not reflect the racial, cultural, or language diversity of the children in the room or the community
- Books do not connect to learning objectives or curriculum
- Limited amount of print in learning environment, aside from books (labels for common objects, welcome signs, names on cubbies)
Diverse types of reading materials and books that are chosen to reinforce learning objectives and curriculum.
- Infant room has touch and feel, picture only, and books with pictures and words
- Preschool room has books reflecting different types of families, concepts related to number representation, and stories that allow children to make inferences and problem-solve
- School-age program has a diverse selection of books that cover fiction and nonfiction content that spans reading levels
Provides children with multiple opportunities to participate in reading in different and meaningful ways each day.
Minimal opportunities for enriched and enjoyable reading.
- Children are only read to during whole group time
- School-age children asked to read a book as a consequence for behavior
Reading is a part of specific, daily routines.
- Children may be read to during whole group time and have opportunities to independently look at books during free choice
Intentionally incorporates diverse reading experiences across routines and activities.
- Children are read to as a whole group, in small groups, and when individual children request
- Incorporates literacy opportunities during daily routines, such as meals, to reinforce concepts (“Which one has a letter that makes the “mmmm” sound, the milk or the Cheerios?”)
Book Reading Interactions
Engages with children during book reading to introduce and reinforce concepts, connect stories to children’s lives, and provoke critical thinking.
Does not provide an interactive reading experience for children.
- Reads in a caregiver-directed way only (word for word), does not allow for meaningful child interaction
- May have unrealistic expectations or struggles to provide support to emerging readers
- For independent readers, does not inquire about the content of children’s books and reading materials
Provides opportunities for children to participate during reading.
- Pauses when a child shows interest in the pictures, letters, or sensory properties of a book and narrates what the child is attending to
- Will listen and respond if children have questions or comments about reading materials
- Asks independent readers questions about their books and materials (“What’s your book about?”)
Intentionally connects reading material to various concepts and skills; creates an interactive and engaging reading experience.
- Encourages children to explore the physical properties of books and makes connections with the child
- Poses problem-solving questions about reading content (such as asking preschoolers why the character can’t find the mitten that fell in the snow)
- For upper elementary children and youth ask comprehension questions that encourage them to share their feelings, opinions, and beliefs
Embeds Language Support
Embeds language and literacy support throughout children's activities and routines.
Minimal opportunities for language and literacy support outside of designated times.
- Lack of singing songs and nursery rhymes for younger children
- Writing and reading opportunities are only in the context of homework for school-age children
Some language and literacy support incorporated into activities and routines.
- Uses songs or rhymes to help children learn routines and transitions
- Does not intentionally introduce new vocabulary or connect concepts through language
- Only teaches literacy concepts and new vocabulary during group time or set literacy activities
Intentional opportunities embedded throughout activities and routines that connect to language and literacy concepts.
- Sings songs that repeat and add on to previous verses to support executive functioning in preschoolers
- Narrates observations for older infants during art activity Asks follow-up questions to guide participation and understanding of vocabulary and concepts (“I’ve asked you to be gracious during snack time. What are some ways we can be gracious?”)
Expands on children's sounds, words, and sentences in ways that reinforce children's communication.
Rarely expands on children’s sounds, words, and sentences.
- When an infant cries, caregiver picks child up but does not talk to the child to help soothe
- Answers children’s questions with single words or very short responses
Responds to children most of the time but may not expand or model language.
- A toddler approaches caregiver with messy hands and says, “dirty” and caregiver responds, “Go wash your hands”
- Inconsistently interprets and models expressive communication for emerging talkers (toddler says, “wuh wuh” for water but caregiver does not model saying “water”)
- School-age provider gives a simple response to children’s questions
Consistently responds to children’s communication and continues the exchanges to expand language and learning.
- Engages in reciprocal verbal interactions with a cooing infant.
- Caregiver responds to toddler with “dirty” hands by saying, “You do have dirty hands… Applesauce is sticky! Let’s go to the sink and wash your dirty hands”
- School-age provider gives an answer and explanation to children’s questions then asks a thought-provoking follow-up question.
Models diverse vocabulary and ways of communicating to promote language development.
Uses mostly directives to tell children what to do, limited descriptive language or open-ended questions.
- Caregiver uses more nonwords, such as “ba ba” or “banky,” than words
- Uses nondescript statements or vague feedback (“good job” “give me that” “put it here”)
- Consistently asks close-end questions (“Which is blue?” “Where’s the circle?”)
Mostly uses descriptive statements and questions to communicate.
- Talks to infants during routines
- Uses questions to support children’s learning (“What do we do with our coats when we come inside?”)
- Uses specific language to encourage following routines (“Use your walking feet”)
Consistently uses diverse language and individualizes communication to situations and children.
- Imitates infant and young toddlers’ sounds and narrates their intentions using simple yet specific language. (“You want the ball? Here’s the ball!”)
- Caregiver gives modified choices to promote independence (“Do you want to go to the homework center or game center?” when discussing available activity options)
- Introduces new vocabulary (describes the words “translucent” and “opaque” during a watercolor activity)
Promotes Social Emotional Learning
Communicates about actions, thoughts, and feelings to promote social-emotional development through language.
Minimal use of language to teach social-emotional concepts.
- May label actions but does not connect actions to emotions or social skills (“You pushed her”)
- Does not narrate to give voice or words to children’s intentions and feelings
- May use comments like "be nice" or "say you're sorry"
Sometimes uses specific vocabulary, questioning, and commenting to support social-emotional learning.
- Verbalizes when children demonstrate prosocial behavior (“Thank you for sharing with your friend”)
- Gives reminders to encourage prosocial behavior and following rules (“What voice do we use when we are inside?”)
Consistently extends children’s learning using language, questioning, and commenting to facilitate social reasoning and problem-solving, greater understanding of children’s emotions in relation to their actions, and perspective-taking.
- Gives voice or words to children’s emotions (“You’re feeling sad because Daddy is leaving, but he will be back later” )
- Asks questions to foster social skills and perspective taking(“How do you think others feel when you say they are ‘stupid’?” )
Responsive to Nonverbal Cues
Uses nonverbal communication to support language and communication and observes children’s nonverbal cues to inform own responses.
Rarely pays attention or responds to children’s nonverbal cues and unaware of the impact of own nonverbal communication.
- Inconsistently responds to children’s gestures and emotional expressions
- Does not respond or acknowledge children unless they use words
- Does not use facial expressions to indicate emotions
Notices and responds to more obvious nonverbal communication, generally attends to nonverbal communication but sometimes misinterprets.
- Looks at what a child is pointing to and comments, uses facial expression to show interest and engagement
- Acknowledges children’s gestures and words, even if unintelligible
- Caregiver may observe nonverbal expressions and behaviors and help interpret for older children (“It looks like to you want some alone time.”)
Consistently observes nonverbal communication, including very subtle cues, and uses this information to strategically respond.
- Narrates and looks at what a child looks at to facilitate joint attention
- Models gestures for children with emerging receptive communication to reinforce spoken words (“Where did the marker’s cap go?” while holding hands out in a questioning way)
- Mirrors appropriate emotional responses and incorporates expressions to engage and communicate with older children
Engages with children in a warm and encouraging way (smiles, looks at, gets down on child’s level).
Has a flat affect or lacks a positive demeanor.
- Rarely smiles or shows warm emotion
- Uses a firm tone or shows frustration during challenging situations
- Shows inconsistent attention to certain children or shows more patience with chidlren who demonstrate preferred behaviors
Usually warm and encouraging with children but it may be contingent on children’s behavior or other factors.
- Shows interest (smiles, looks at) when children initiate interaction
- Affect may be warm when children are exhibiting ideal behavior
- Caregiver’s demeanor toward children may noticeably change in various contexts, such as an unexpected schedule change or challenging interaction with another coworker or family member
Consistently engages with children with warmth and encouragement.
- Shows patience and warmth with all children despite challenges
- Shows concern and neutral affect during difficult or unexpected situations and reacts in calm and thoughtful ways
- Acknowledges children’s emotions when in distress and uses warmth and physical touch (when appropriate) to nurture
Uses positive guidance and communication to redirect behavior and reinforce children’s effort.
Limited use of positive guidance or rarely acknowledges children’s effort.
- Gives attention to problematic behaviors but may ignore positive behaviors
- Minimal use of encouraging statements
- Uses mostly negative or critical statements such as "no", “don’t do that”, or “stop it”
Recognizes children's achievements and behavior but may be nonspecific, overly complimentary, or use words that describe what not to do than what to do.
- Uses vague praise, “Good job!” or “You’re always good”
- Language targets what should not happen instead of what should happen (“Don’t hit” instead of, “Please use safe touch”)
- Comments on results more than a child’s positive progress
Consistently points out children’s specific, ideal behavior and acknowledges effort as much as achievement
- Uses encouraging statements to reinforce children’s efforts (“You have practiced tying your shoelaces every afternoon this week. Great job being persistent!”)
- Intentionally points out positive actions
- Specifically shares what should happen during redirection
Demonstrates developmentally appropriate expectations for children’s peer interactions and facilitates growth in this area of their development.
Limited understanding of appropriate peer interaction and rarely facilitates them.
- May show frustration when children need support due to inappropriate expectations
- Rigid view of children’s social abilities (resolves peer conflict by separating children or limiting privileges)
- Does not plan activities that encourage cooperation
Encourages children to socialize and provides support for these interactions.
- Facilitates parallel play in infants, toddlers, and, when appropriate, older children with developmental delays
- Uses the learning environment and routines to prevent peer conflict and promote interaction (visual cues for where preschoolers stand when lining up)
- Intentionally plans opportunities for children to play, solve problems, and complete tasks together
Consistently incorporates developmentally appropriate social learning opportunities into activities and care and provides guidance to foster children’s growth in this area.
- Strategically pairs or groups children for some activities so peer models can support children with emerging skills
- Appropriately supports children during conflicts, making sure not to impede their opportunity to problem-solve
- Recognizes when certain children need additional help with peer interaction and uses targeted supports (uses a scripted story to help a child understand safe touch)
Observes and joins children in their interests, enhancing the nature of their interactions, play, and learning.
Rarely recognizes or joins children in their interests and play.
- Thinks concretely about play and behavior (puzzle pieces go in the puzzle, we don’t tap them on the table)
- Minimal interaction beyond basic care and supervision
- Is not always sensitive to children’s cues (may not notice that a child is sensitive to sound)
Acknowledges children’s interests but may not use this information to enhance their experiences.
- Responds to children requests (reads a book when asked by a child)
- May see “play time” and “teaching time” as separate
- Engages during adult-directed activities but inconsistently interacts during free-choice time
- May offer to help a child participate a preferred activity (“Do you want me to push you on the swing?”)
Consistently builds on children’s interests to build relationships, teach new concepts, and expand play.
- Scaffolds interactions during play to elevate learning and ideas (playfully covers blocks with older infant and says, “Bye-bye blocks” seeing if the child can find them)
- Uses children’s interests and strengths to encourage them to try new activities (builds on interest in painting with different brushes or mediums)
- Spontaneously creates learning opportunities during routines and activities (counts peaches as a child serves themself)
Develops a special relationship with each child in care.
Caregiver and children seem indifferent to each other.
- Caregiver does not develop unique relationships with individual children
- Some children appear unattached to caregiver, even when they are upset
- Does not know specific preferences of children in care
Has a connection to most children in care, but may struggle to develop special relationships with some children.
- Prefers to engage with social, outgoing children over children who are shy and difficult to engage
- Attempts but struggles to engage with some children, particularly those with challenging behavior, developmental delays, or dual-language learning
- Uses children’s first names when speaking with them and gets down on their level to engage
Uses children’s needs, preferences, and interests to build relationships with all children.
- Uses smiles, physical warmth and affect to form strong attachments with children (“You are so sleepy, do you want me to hold you?” )
- Individualizes care for children based on their interests and preferences.
- Initiates opportunities for children to share about their family and culture, showing interest in their lives outside of the program
Calm and Present
Has a calm and engaged demeanor when interacting with children, coworkers, and families.
Emotional reactions are unpredictable; seems uninterested in others.
- Often demonstrates frustration
- Responds with minimal feedback when children or families engage
Maintains composure and interest in others most of the time but may occasionally react in an unregulated or indifferent manner.
- May occasionally overreact to an unexpected occurrence or difficulty with a child but generally remains calm and engaged
- Gets down on children’s level and engages face-to-face
Consistently maintains composure and interest during interactions with others.
- Is a calm, stable presence for children and adults even through the most stressful of situations
- Knows to respectfully ask for help or a break when feeling unregulated before losing composure with children, coworkers, or families
Is sensitive to and adjusts expectations when children are feeling unwell, injured, going through changes, or experiencing stressful circumstances.
Does not adjust level of care for children during stressful circumstances.
- Little flexibility in caregiving routines
- When a child is unwell or injured, may respond with "you're okay"
- Doesn’t consider how family circumstances affect how children feel and act (toddler has a new baby sibling and wants to be held more often)
Notices and attends to children’s needs.
- Offers comfort to children when they are upset, tired, unwell (gives a hug, offers to hold)
- Listens and engages with a child who seems upset and tries to understand the child’s perspective and how to help)
- Is patient with and provides additional support to children who are new to the room or struggling to learn routines
Provides additional nurturing and support when needed to help children through stressful circumstances.
- Able to adjust routines or expectations for individual children experiencing difficultly, while still considering the needs of the entire group
- Communicates support provided to children experiencing difficult circumstances, with their families
Respect's children's ideas and perspectives.
Inflexible or intolerant of children’s ideas and unique perspectives.
- Does not try to understand or comfort child who is scared or frustrated
- Rarely allows children to carry out their own ideas (does not allow children to use car ramp as a slide for toy animals)
Usually demonstrates openness to children’s ideas and tries to understand perspectives.
- May be rigid with more caregiver-directed activities but is generally flexible to children’s ideas during designated free times
- Allows children to adapt activities using creative ideas (child uses cut-out circle intended to make a “snowy day” picture to instead create a snake)
Uses children’s ideas to build on their learning and relationships.
- Validates children’s feelings or perspectives and provides reasoning for a choice or action.
- Intentionally incorporates diverse interests and ideas into activities and routines (“I see that Mya is walking to the playground and Tim is marching.”)
Balanced & Differentiated Instruction
Understands developmental abilities of children in care and demonstrates appropriate expectations and support. Modifies activities as needed for groups of children and for individual children.
Limited differentiated support.
- Has unrealistic expectations for children’s development (expects toddler to toilet train when they do not show signs of readiness)
- Unaware when activities are either too difficult or too easy for most of the children
- Provides the same support for all children in care, regardless of their individual needs
Some differentiated support.
- Provides differentiated support when needed, but may not help child develop new skills or promote independence
- Assists children who need increased support but may not challenge those who have mastered a concept or skill
Consistent differentiated support.
- Observes and responds when children need help following instructions (breaks down a two-step process for a child who needs support following multistep commands)
- Scaffolds children’s learning and development
- Modifies learning environment to support all children (moves toys at the top of shelf to the bottom so infant who cannot pull to stand can access)
Acknowledges and celebrates diversity in an inclusive way that makes children feel special and fosters a sense of belonging.
Unaware of personal bias when caring for children.
- Little evidence of culturally diverse books or materials in the learning environment
- Overlooks statements that reinforce broad generalizations (“Mexican kids” referring to children from various Latin cultures)
- Often makes unintended assumptions about gender, cultures, and practices ("Girls love dress-up")
Provides bias-free care but may not incorporate family and cultural diversity into children’s learning experiences.
- May occasionally make unintended assumptions about children’s lives that are not reflective of their experience (“Did everyone have a nice Christmas?”)
- “Blind” to children’s diversity, does not acknowledge individuality
Consistently provides care in a bias-free manner and embeds opportunities to learn about family and cultural diversity throughout learning experiences.
- Challenges stereotypes to expand children’s thinking (fathers can be stay-at-home parents; not assuming that a doctor is a man)
- Uses pictures and stories to explore family styles (one parent households, step-parents, LGBTQ families)
- Incorporates the language and customs of children in care into the learning environment and activities (books, music, various religious celebrations)
Provides a balance of activities and experiences including caregiver vs child-directed, whole group/small group/individual, quiet activities vs collaborating activities, physically active vs sedentary.
Limited balanced opportunities.
- Most activities are caregiver-directed, limited free play
- Infants are left in swings, sit-in activity centers, and other mobility limiting devices for long periods of time
- Children and youth are often expected to sit and be quiet
Often provides balanced opportunities.
- Use of a daily schedule that reflects balanced experiences
- Children have access to physical activity opportunities, even during inclement weather
- Learning environment has a quiet corner
Consistently provides balanced opportunities.
- Provides a developmentally appropriate amount of choice for children to choose activities
- During caregiver-directed activities is flexible and involves children’s ideas without straying too far from activity objectives
- Whole group, small group, and individual activities are strategically chosen to meet children’s learning objectives
Schedule and routines are such that children and caregivers know what to do and there are consistent expectations.
Minimal structure within the learning environment.
- Learning environment is chaotic
- Rarely follows the schedule
- Inconsistent expectations for routines (sometimes talking with friends in line is OK, other times not)
Use of a schedule and has consistent expectations.
- Children generally know what they are to do and when
- Mostly consistent expectations for routines and behavior
- Verbally prepares children for transitions
Learning environment enhances children’s ability to follow routines and expectations.
- Uses picture schedules and other visual cues to encourage desired behavior and help children follow routines
- Provides differentiated instruction for children who need more support with routines and expectations (knows child does not process auditory instructions well from a distance and may repeat for child face-to-face)
Healthy and Safe Environments
Learning environment and materials are clean and free of hazards.
Learning environment noticeably needs cleaned or contains minor safety hazards.
- Minor safety hazards, such as water from the sensory table on the floor is not attended to immediately
- Noticeably soiled items within the learning environment (table is not cleaned after snack)
Learning environment is generally clean and free of hazards.
- Spills and other potential hazards are quickly attended to
- Makes sure to relock cabinets, etc., after opening
There is a clear system to ensure that a clean and safe learning environment is maintained.
- Uses “Dirty” or “To be washed” box for toys that are cleaned daily
- Employs a system for periodically checking for outlet covers, safety locks, etc.
Responsive to Health Needs
Observes and responds to children’s health and hygiene needs.
Rarely quickly attends to children’s health and hygiene needs.
- Children are left in soiled diapers longer than a few minutes
- Does not assist with self-help skills (wiping a child's nose) when engaged in another task
- Allows a hungry infant to cry for longer than a few minutes
Usually quickly attends to children’s health and hygiene needs.
- Changes diaper per licensing or regulations and when needed
- Takes appropriate measures to handle illness and injury
- Follows most of the appropriate clean-up procedures (use of gloves, cleaning area)
Consistently quickly attends to children’s health and hygiene needs.
- Knows to alter expectations for children’s activity when they are not feeling well (allows child to stay longer than usual in the quiet corner)
- Completes all necessary steps to prevent the spread of disease
Demonstrates a clear system of accountability for children’s whereabouts and ratio compliance.
Fails to adhere to supervision guidelines for age group.
- Unaware of what to do when out of ratio
- Does not use strategies and tools to ensure accountability for children
- Remains stationary and does not communicate with coworkers to coordinate supervision
Adheres to supervision guidelines for age group.
- Remains in ratio
- Is generally aware of children’s whereabouts but may inconsistently count name-to-face, use attendance list, or use other accountability strategies
- May occasionally move around to provide supervision in all aspects, but may fail to coordinate this with other staff (many staff are in one area)
Adheres to supervision guidelines for age group and provides active supervision.
- Engages and interacts with children while simultaneously adhering to supervision guidelines
- Consistently counts name-to-face before and after transitions
- Consistently updates attendance list throughout the day
- Coordinates supervision of program area well with other staff (spread out across the playground)
Reacts to conflicts, unexpected occurrences, and stressful situations in ways that minimize negative effects on children, staff, and families.
Overwhelmed by typical expectations and changes.
- Becomes upset with staffing changes or new children in care
- Makes excuses or blames others
Usually responds with a calm demeanor.
- Generally copes well with the normal workflow and challenges encountered when caring for children
Consistently responds with a calm demeanor.
- Consistently copes well with the normal workflow and challenges encountered when caring for children
- Uses relationships with others to diffuse tense situations
- Models healthy adaptation and adjustment (planned visitor had to cancel, talks through feelings and next steps to problem-solve)
Communicates with children, families, and coworkers in a collaborative, professional way.
Does not have a team mindset and minimizes the importance of communication.
- Gives short responses to children and families'questions
- May discount others’ opinions or perspectives
- Does not always follow through with agreed-upon tasks
Usually demonstrates effective communication when working with others.
- Gives full attention to others when communicating
Consistently demonstrates effective communication when working with others.
- Gives full attention to others when communicating and asks questions to learn how to best be helpful
- Considers others’ perspectives and values when communicating and problem-solving
Follows all program policies and procedures. If certain policies and procedures are not observable, demonstrates understanding through conversations and professional learning activities.
Observable instances of failure to follow program policies and procedures.
- Needs support adhering to most program policies and procedures (hand washing, child abuse reporting, time-off requests, etc.)
Usually follows program policies and procedures.
- May consistently follow some procedures but not all (may need support with specific policies and procedures)
Consistently follows program policies and procedures.
- Always adheres to policies and procedures and supports other team members when they need help in learning expectations
Seeks advice from a coach, trainer, or administrator when unsure of how to respond or support a child, family, or coworker or encounters a situation that calls for someone in a leadership role to be involved.
Does not demonstrate appropriate involvement of leadership.
- Too reliant on leadership and defers questions or concerns caregiver should be able to answer
- Too isolated in making decisions and responding to situations and questionsn
Usually demonstrates appropriate involvement of leadership.
- Knows when to involve program leadership or consult with team
Consistently demonstrates appropriate involvement of leadership.
- For situations where caregiver would like the input of leadership (but doesn’t necessarily need it, according to procedures) tries to find solutions or research information before asking for help
Values Professional Growth
Responsive to professional development opportunities and support provided by a coach, trainer, or administrator.
Does not value or understand the importance of professional development.
- Does not actively participate in goal-setting
- Lacks interest in expanding current level of knowledge or practice
- Rarely follows through with action steps to improve practices
Participates in professional development.
- Generally responsive and follows through with goal-setting steps
Initiates own professional development and learning.
- Independently utilizes available resources, in conjunction with leadership support, to extend learning and practice
- Asks questions and engages during professional learning opportunities
Provides active supervision by engaging in and expanding on children’s play and learning.
Does not provide active supervision.
- Is sometimes distrated when supervising children (looking at phone)
- Passively supervises children, may watch but does not engage
- Is aware of individual children but not the whole group
Usually provides active supervision.
- Is aware of what is happening in the learning environment and responds when needed (helps two children fighting over the same toy)
- Communicates with team about supervision (“I’m taking Amaya with me to get more paper”)
Consistently provides active supervision.
- Anticipates and modifies the environment to prevent challenges or oversights (opens up the flaps to a play tent)
- Implements supervision zones when children are playing in larger or outdoor areas
Respectful of Privacy
Speaks about children, families, and staff in a confidential and respectful manner.
Does not always speak respectfully about others or may unknowingly break confidentiality.
- Shares information about a child with other families
- Engages in gossip about co-workers or families
- Occasionally makes subjective comments about families
Usually speaks respectfully and adheres to confidentiality.
- Usually adheres to confidential practices regarding children’s educational and medical plans
- May occasionally gossip but is generally respectful
Consistently speaks respectfully and adheres to confidentiality.
- Consistently adheres to confidential practices regarding children’s educational and medical plans
- Addresses individuals directly when they have concerns, engages leadership for support when needed
- Speaks objectively about families (“They forgot to bring an extra pair of clothes” instead of, “They are irresponsible”)
Caregiver communicates positively with families.
Does not actively communicate with families.
- At drop off and pickup, caregiver/teacher rarely greets families or initiate conversation
- Interacts with families as if caregiver knows child better than the family
- When communicating with families, shares only information about child’s challenges, not their successes
Usually communicates positively with families.
- At drop off and pickup, families are inconsistently greeted or engaged in conversation even when caregiver is available to talk
- Interacts positively with families, but does not appear to view families as experts about their child
- When communicating with families, does not highlight child’s successes
Consistently communicates positively with families.
- At drop off and pickup, all families are greeted consistently and efforts are made to engage families in conversation and to listen to them
- Demonstrates to families, through interactions with them, that they know their child best
- Communicates child’s successes to families
Caregiver incorporates children's families in the learning environment.
No evidence of families in the program environment.
- Program environment contains no photos of children with their families
- The program environment does not include books or labels for items in a child’s home language
Some evidence of families in the program environment.
- Program environment may contain a few photos of children with their families, but not all children in the program are represented
- The program environment may include one book or label in a child’s home language
Rich evidence of families in the program environment.
- Program displays photos of all children in care with their families
- The program environment includes multiple books and labels in a child’s home language
Programming Communicated to Families
The caregiver includes families when communicating about classroom and program topics and events.
No evidence of communication to families about program topics and events.
- Program environment does not contain a central family board where information such as schedules or curriculum is shared with families
- Classroom or program contains no examples of children’s work
Some evidence of communication to families about program topics and events.
- Program environment may contain family board, but no events or information about child development is posted there
- Program environment may contain few examples of children’s work
- Schedules (daily or weekly) and curriculum are not shared on the family board
Rich evidence of communication to families about program topics and events.
- Information about upcoming family events is posted visibly for families to see and information about child development is available for families
- Program environment prominently displays all children’s work
- Schedules (daily or weekly) and curriculum are shared on the family board so they know what to expect
- Provides avenues for open, bidirectional communication with families (e.g., journals, daily sheets, online communication)
Protective Factors in Place
The classroom or program includes information about family supports.
No evidence of information about family supports.
- There is no area in the program environment that serves as a lending library for families or that families can get information about community resources
Minimal evidence of information about family supports.
- Lending library contains few items and families may not be aware of the availability of resources
- Lending library does not include materials in children’s home language, community resources, and books about diverse families
Rich evidence of family supports.
- Families are encouraged to use the lending library and materials are available on a variety of child development topics
- Lending library includes materials in children’s home language, community resources, and books about diverse families