The goal of this measure is to assess 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 which encompass various constituent skills.
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 under mastery. When rating a caregiver on a skill, try to pick the competency level that best fits the materials, behaviors, and skills you see in the child care environment.
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, another caregiver who shows both emerging and developing qualities on a skill may better fit in emerging. 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 assess, rather than trying to rate the domain, indicate this by rating the item as 0.
- E - Emerging - Staff member is building their understanding and use of the skill.
- D - Developing - Staff member understands the skill and is working to consistently or fully implement it.
- M - Mastered - Staff member consistently displays or implements practice in an appropriate manner.
- 0 - Not Observed
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
- Books reinforce stereotypes, have inappropriate content, 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 selection of books that cover various 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 “punishment”
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 child interaction
- May have unrealistic expectations or is impatient with emerging readers, struggles to provide support
- For independent readers, does not offer assistance when requested or 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 (when looking at a touch and feel book with an infant or toddler, narrates to the child how the books has “soft” parts just like the child’s sweater and encourages child to touch both)
- Poses problem-solving questions about reading content (when reading a book about a character who loses a white mitten in the snow, asks preschoolers why the character can’t find the mitten)
- For upper elementary children and youth reading a book about a boy with facial abnormalities, engages in discussion with children about how the character’s differences affect how he feels about himself and how others treat him
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 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
- Writing and drawing 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
- Expands on children’s language when prompted by their specific questions but may not intentionally introduce new vocabulary or connect concepts through language
- Only teaches literacy concepts and new vocabulary during “letter time,” “word of the day” or set literacy activities
Intentional opportunities embedded throughout activities and routines that connect to language and literacy concepts.
- Singing songs that repeat and add on to previous verses to support executive functioning in preschoolers
- Older infants explore through finger painting while caregiver talks with them about what they feel, see, and do
- Follows-up instructions with questions that reinforce children’s participation and aid in developing 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 responsesLack of singing songs and nursery rhymes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
Responds to children most of the time but may not capitalize on these opportunities to expand language through relational support or language modeling, exchange often ends with caregiver’s response.
- A toddler approaches caregiver with messy hands and says, “dirty” and caregiver responds, “Go wash your hands”
- Inconsistently interprets and provides model for expressive communication attempts for emerging talkers (toddler says, “wuh wuh” for water but caregiver does not model saying “water”)
- School-age child asks why they cannot go outside today, and staff member responds, “That’s the rule for today”
Consistently responds to children’s communication and continues the exchanges to expand language and learning.
- An infant coos at a caregiver while being held and caregiver coos back and engages with the child while waiting for the infant to respond again
- 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 responds to child’s question about going outdoors by explaining that it is too cold to play outside today and they engage in a discussion about what happens to your body when exposed to extreme cold for more than a few minutes
Models diverse vocabulary and ways of communicating to promote language development.
Uses primarily directive statements to tell children what to do, limited descriptive language and open-ended questions, limited vocabulary expansion.
- For infants/toddlers, caregiver may use nonwords such as “ba ba” or “binky” instead of real word models
- Uses nondescript statements or provides vague feedback (“good job” “give me that” “put it here”)
- May over ask questions to the point of disengaging the child (“Where’s the A?” “Which one is blue?” “Touch the circle”)
Mostly uses descriptive statements and questions to communicate.
- Talks to infants during routines (“let’s get that diaper changed……now we’re all done”)
- 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 caters the type of communication to specific situations and children.
- For infants and young toddlers imitates their babbles, narrates their intentions using simple but specific language, and may use “ask and answered” strategy (“You want the ball? Here’s the ball!”)
- Caregiver recognizes when to give choice versus when to use open-ended questions to prevent limiting children’s ideas and vocabulary use opportunities (asks questions strategically, “Do you want to go to the homework center or game center?” when discussing available options in school-age program and “What did you draw?” to inquire about a child’s artwork)
- Introduces new vocabulary in the context of learning environments and children’s interests (for a school-age child exploring watercolors, introduces the words “translucent” and “opaque” relating to the amount of water the child is using to dilute the paint)
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 threaten children as a discipline strategy
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” “I like how you used words to figure out how you and your friend could both play with the puzzle”)
- With indoor voice example, may follow-up to say, “Yes, this helps us be able to hear one another as we work and play indoors”
- “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.
- Ignores children’s gestures (point, looking toward an object to indicate want, shaking head yes or no) and emotional expressions, refuses to respond or acknowledge children unless they use words
- Consistently uses a harsh tone with children
- Rarely changes tone of voice to indicate excitement, worry, or other 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 observes toddler pretend a bowl is a hat but instead directs child to put pretend food in the bowl
Consistently observes nonverbal communication, including very subtle cues, and uses this information to strategically respond.
- For children beginning gestural communication, will narrate and look at what the child looks at to facilitate joint attention
- Intentionally 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)
- Will use own affect to connect with children (mirror appropriate emotional response) and may incorporate slightly exaggerated expressions to engage and communicate (child is not sure how to respond when asked to put his hat on and caregiver says, “Does this hat go on your foot?” using humor, affect, and gestures to help connect the concept for the child)
Engages with children in a warm and encouraging way (smiles, looks at, gets down on child’s level).
Has a flat affect or harsh demeanor.
- May seem withdrawn or indifferent to others, rarely smiles or shows warm emotion
- Any incidents of yelling, shaming, or belittling children
- May show annoyance or become impatient when children need attention or care
Usually interacts with children with warmth and encouragement but it may be contingent on children’s behavior or other factors.
- Shows interest (smiles, looks at) when children initiate interaction or show caregiver items or toys
- Affect may be warm when children are exhibiting ideal behavior but may become harsh when caregiver encounters unideal behavior or situations
- Caregiver’s demeanor toward children may noticeably change in various contexts, such as when a coworker calls in sick, when they are dissatisfied with a workplace decision, or when they have a challenging interaction with another coworker or family member
Consistently engages with children with warmth and encouragement.
- Shows patience and warmth with children who exhibit the greatest challenges
- Shows concern and neutral affect during the most 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.
Rarely uses positive guidance or acknowledges children’s effort.
- Tends to communicate and give the most attention when children engage in behaviors that are not ideal, talks to children the most when there is a “problem”
- Minimal use of encouraging statements
- Uses mostly negative or critical statements such as “don’t do that” or “stop it”
Recognizes and communicates to children about achievements and behavior but may be nonspecific, overly complimentary, or use words that describe what is “wrong” more than what children should do.
- Uses vague statements, “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”)
- “You didn’t finish making your snowman” to a child who has been working diligently on the task for some time
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; you’re so close to getting it. Great job being persistent”)
- Specific, intentional language to point out the good things children do (“Thank you for waiting while I was speaking to another grown-up”)
- Talks about what should happen during redirection (“The spoon stays on the tray”) to an infant who has thrown a spoon many times
Demonstrates developmentally appropriate expectations for children’s peer interactions and facilitates growth in this area of their development.
Limited understanding of expected level of peer interaction with respect to children’s development. Does not facilitate peer interaction.
- May show frustration when children need support, has too high or too low expectations
- Has a black-and-white view of children’s social abilities (primary way to resolve peer conflict is to separate children or limit toy or activity access)
- Does not act to eliminate social participation barriers and fails to stop bullying or intentional exclusion of children
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.
- “One friend cannot carry all the water bottles, and it’s very hot outside. How can we help our one friend out, so everyone has water?”
- Strategically pairs or groups children for some activities so peer models can support children with emerging skills
- Appropriately interjects when children have conflicts, making sure not to impede their opportunity to problem-solve, while providing the “just right” amount of support
- 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.
- Has very concrete expectations for children’s play and behavior and minimal tolerance for children’s ideas (puzzle pieces go in the puzzle, we don’t tap them on the table)
- Provides basic care and supervision but rarely interacts with children beyond these tasks and necessary interaction
- Doesn’t observe children’s cues to inform own responses and actions (does not notice that child is sensitive to caregiver speaking loudly or notices but doesn’t modify voice volume)
Acknowledges children’s interests but may not utilize this information to enhance their experiences.
- Responds when children request specific help or to show caregiver something (reads a book when requested by a child)
- May see “play time” and “teaching time” as separate
- Engages with children during adult-directed activities but inconsistently interacts during free-choice time
- May suggest or offer to help child participate in an activity caregiver knows child enjoys (“Do you want me to push you on the swing?”)
Consistently builds on children’s specific interests to promote relational support, teach new concepts, and expand on the nature of play.
- Scaffolds children’s interaction during play to elevate learning and ideas (playfully covers blocks played with by an older infant with a blanket and says, “Bye-bye blocks” seeing if the child can find them)
- Specifically acknowledges that children have personal interests and strengths and uses this knowledge to encourage them to try new activities or reinforce a concept (knows that a child loves Pokémon and asks this child to think about how all people have strengths and weaknesses, just like Pokémon characters, during teamwork activity)
- Spontaneously creates learning opportunities during routines and activities (notices a child looking at spinning car wheels and joins child by getting on their level and narrating “weeee” in an engaging and fun way, initiating joint attention)
Develops a special relationship with each child in care.
Caregiver and children seem indifferent to each other.
- Caregiver seems to treat all children the same in a way that limits ability to develop relationships with individual children (refuses to help child take shoes off because all the other children can do it independently)
- Children appear avoidant or even fearful of caregiver, children do not go to caregiver when they are upset or need help
- Doesn’t respond to or know specific preferences of children in care (such as when an infant who often cries during tummy time more contentedly engages in activity when someone is face-to-face with child)
Has a connection to most children in care, but may struggle to develop special relationships with some children.
- Is successful in engaging with children who are naturally very social and ongoing compared to children who may be more temperamentally shy or difficult to engage
- Attempts, but has more limited relational exchanges with some children, particularly those with challenging behavior, developmental delays, or dual-language learning (fails to use gestural and affect cues to engage with child with speech delay and therefore has limited interaction with child)
- 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 relational warmth (smiles, physical warmth, affect) to form strong attachments with children and help them cope with everyday situations (“You are so sleepy, do you want me to hold you?” as caregiver helps young toddler who needs support to fall asleep during naptime)
- Uses specific information about children’s experiences and preferences to engage (sings “If you’re happy and you know it” with a young toddler because family has shared this song and it cheers child up when they sing it at home)
- 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.
- Yells, screams, is sarcastic, or loses temper
- Is unresponsive or disengaged from others; appears into their own work and experience much of the time with little affirmation toward others’ communication (responds with “uh huh” or minimal feedback when children talk with caregiver, show objects , and ask questions)
- Appears annoyed or cold toward others
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
- Maintains calm 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
- Uses self-care strategies and takes advantage of breaks to help “reset and recharge”
Is sensitive to and adjusts expectations when children are feeling unwell, injured, going through changes, or experiencing stressful circumstances.
Does not notice or care for children differently during stressful circumstances.
- Seems indifferent to children who hurt themselves
- Refuses to feed a young infant on-demand because they previously would eat every four hours
- 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 tries to understand children’s ideas and perspectives when going through difficult circumstances (engages with a child who seems upset and tries to understand 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.
- Makes decisions to keep consistent routines and expectations for individual children experiencing difficultly, even when the children may be adjusting or changing the routine (keeps the animal center toys as an option, even though group is moving on from this unit in the curriculum because it is the favorite activity of a child whose parent has just deployed and having a difficult time coping)
- When children are experiencing difficult circumstances, communicates with families about the support provided to the child while in the program
Respect's children's ideas and perspectives.
Inflexible or intolerant of children’s ideas and unique perspectives.
- Disregards when a child is fearful (doesn’t try to understand or comfort child who is scared)
- Rarely or never allows children to carry out their own ideas (doesn’t 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
- Flexible when children 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.
- When children express dislike about something, acknowledges how they feel without “caving in” (“I know you don’t want to wear a coat today, but it is too cold to go without one”)
- Intentionally builds opportunities for diverse interests and ideas into activities and routines (“Mya used the paper circles to make a snake and Tim made a snowy day. Look at all of the different things you created!”)
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 too high or too low of expectations for children as a whole (expects toddler to toilet train when they do not show developmental 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 (doesn’t follow through with IFSP or IEP accommodations)
Some differentiated support.
- Will provide differentiated support when needed, but may not help child develop new skills (washes child’s hands for them without furthering ability for child to do it independently)
- 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 additional cues or help following instructions and routines (breaks down a two-step process, “What do we do after we hang up our coat?” for a child who needs support following multistep commands)
- Provides the “just right” challenge for children (rather than carrying a child learning to walk up steps, offers to help by holding their hand)
- Modifies learning environment to ensure equal access to activities for 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.
Frequently displays bias when caring for children.
- Stereotypes or biases are evident (“Girls don’t play like that”)
- Ignores when children make biased statements (“All the Mexican kids are over there” [when the children are of various Latin cultures])
- Demonstrates bias toward children’s family cultures and decisions (“They should try to speak English at home since that’s what we use here”)
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, doesn’t acknowledge how differences make children unique and special
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)
- Explores different family styles and configurations through pictures, stories, and examples (some families have one parent, a couple may not have children, some children are cared for by a grandparent)
- 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 prolonged periods of time
- Children and youth are expected to sit and be quiet most of the time
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 most benefit children in meeting 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, evidence that there is limited planning
- Has a schedule but rarely follows it
- 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
- Prepares children for transitions (“First we will put our free-choice toys away, then we will line up to go outside”)
Learning environment enhances children’s ability to follow routines and expectations.
- Uses a variety of cues and strategies to help children follow routines and expectations (when a curtain covers the toy shelf, those toys are not available)
- Uses picture schedules and other visual cues to encourage desired behavior
- 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 is noticeably unsanitary or contains safety hazards.
- Clear safety hazards, such as a cabinet containing cleaning material without a child lock
- Water or other liquids left on the floor unattended to
- Noticeably soiled items within the learning environment
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.
- “Dirty” or “To be washed” box for toys that are cleaned daily
- 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
- Fails to respond when a child is noticeably injured or ill or when they report feeling unwell
- 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
- Attempts to prevent spread of disease by following 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.
- Out of ratio when caring for children
- Does not use strategies and tools to ensure accountability for children
- Tends to remain in one location in the program space (failing to monitor all aspects) or doesn’t 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 throughout the program space to help provide supervision in all aspects, but may fail to coordinate this (verbally or spatially) 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 chages, 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.
- Does not attend to questions or concerns (seems annoyed when a parent asks a question)
- May discount others’ opinions or perspectives
- Does not 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
- Acknowledges and 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 with 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.
- Despite encouragement from coach, does not participate in goal-setting steps
- Does not want to expand current level of knowledge or practice
- Does not follow through with agreed-upon 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 (wants to find out more information about gender expansive children to support a child they are caring for and seeks out information without being told)
- 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 inattentive when supervising children (looking at phone)
- Passively supervises children, may watch but does not engage
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, Josh, and Sam [children] 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.
Observed to speak disrespectfully about others or break confidentiality.
- Discusses a child’s medical condition with a staff member who does not directly care for the child
- Speaks poorly or makes fun of coworkers in person or when they are not present
- Makes judgmental 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 or speak poorly of others but is generally respectful
- May take issues directly to leadership to solve instead of addressing with the coworker or family or addressing collaboratively with leadership
Consistently speaks respectfully and adheres to confidentiality.
- Knows and adheres to confidential practices regarding children’s educational and medical plans
- When caregiver has a conflict with a coworker or family, speaks to them individually rather than gossiping to others
- 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 communicate positively with families.
- At drop off and pickup, caregiver/teacher does not greet families
- When opportunities arise, for example, at drop off and pick up, no effort is made to engage families in 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
- Families of children with disabilities are told how they should handle their children
Usually communicates positively with families.
- At drop off and pickup, some families are greeted or families are inconsistently greeted even when caregiver is available to greet
- When opportunities arise, for example, at drop off and pickup, some effort is made to engage families in conversation
- 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
- Families of children with disabilities are not consulted as experts about their children
Consistently communicates positively with families.
- At drop off and pickup, all families are greeted consistently, whether or not they respond in kind
- When opportunities arise, for example, at drop off and pick up, efforts are consistently 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
- Families of children with disabilities are encouraged to share their knowledge and input with the caregiver and programs
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 in a child’s home language
- The program environment does not include 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 in a child’s home language
- The program environment may include one 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 in a child’s home language
- The program environment includes multiple 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 is shared with families
- Classroom or program contains no examples of children’s work
- There is no area in the program environment where daily or weekly schedules are shared with families
- There is no area in the program environment where topics or activities covered are shared with families
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) are not shared on the family board
- Topics covered in the program environment are not shared on a 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) are shared on the family board so they know what to expect
- Family board shares current topics covered in the program
- 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
- There is no area in the program environment where families can get information about community resourcesn
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 topics (such as, social-emotional development, the importance of play and physical development, prevention of child abuse and neglect, the protective factors, creative expression) and include some materials in families’ home languages
- Lending library includes materials in children’s home language, community resources, and books about diverse families