What is quality childcare?
An answer, in the form of 10 standards, has been formed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is the largest organization of early childhood professionals in the world. A separate tab will open for each link below to take you to the exact definitions for each standard listed on the NAEYC’s website. Below these links is how Avalon measures up to each standard.
NAEYC Quality Childcare Standards
- Standard 1: Relationships
- Standard 2: Curriculum
- Standard 3: Teaching
- Standard 4: Assessment of Child Progress
- Standard 5: Health
- Standard 6: Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support
- Standard 7: Families
- Standard 8: Community Relationships
- Standard 9: Physical Environment
- Standard 10: Leadership and Management
Standard 1: Relationships
The benefit of a FCCH is the small peer group and low ratio of caretaker-to-children, which promotes closer relationships and more individual attention. This standard is our top concern for quality care: loving relationships. Loving affection and care, as if we were extended family, is provided to your child. We also want your whole family to feel welcome here. Between the children, friendships are formed with peers and conflict resolution is learned. Respect for your child’s rights as an individual are always present. Please click here to review our Behavior Policy.
Standard 2: Curriculum
Our curriculum is based on developmentally-appropriate academic goals that are both structured and also allow for child-directed exploration of the child’s personal interests. We follow the California Common Core’s learning objectives to prepare children for Kindergarten along with socio-emotional learning, physical education, language, and individual skill sets. In addition to our monthly learning themes and structured lessons, our Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia programs, children are provided with intellectually stimulating lessons and materials.
Standard 3: Teaching
We use an “all for one” approach to curate the best methods from all pedagogies for taking care of your child’s individual needs and learning styles. Your child’s interests and skills will be nurtured along with a stimulating environment that challenges growth. Teaching is our passion, so we are dedicated to each child’s individual successes and to help them become part of a team within their peer group. A “whole” child model for teaching includes social, emotional, cultural, and personal development, which will be encouraged in tandem with academic goals.
Standard 4: Assessments
Upon enrollment, a Parent-Teacher conference is scheduled to discuss personal and developmental goals for your child. Formal assessment policies are in place so that you receive daily, weekly, and monthly assessments that cover a variety of developmental objectives and child observations. Annual Parent-Teacher conferences are formal meetings, but you will be regularly communicated with about all aspects of your child’s development: language, physical, social, emotional, and academic.
Standard 5: Health
Besides a highly nutritious food program, we encourage daily physical activity outdoors multiple times throughout the day. Children take turns in leadership roles to assist with our healthy practices such as hand-washing and sanitary practices (covering a cough in an elbow for example). Our teachers and assistants are trained and certified (regularly) in pediatric First Aid, CPR, AED, and Preventative Health practices. Our Illness Policy clearly outlines how we manage both minor and major illnesses. Nap time is provided to give your little one much needed rest and relaxation in a clean and comfortable environment.
- The benefit of a Family Childcare Home (FCCH) is significantly less exposure to illness and disease during a child’s vulnerable period of building up immunities. All children are required to have up-to-date vaccinations – no exceptions unless your regular pediatrician certifies and provides a health action plan regarding the medical exclusion. All occupants of the site have up-to-date vaccinations, annual TB testing, and the annual flu-shot. Additionally, anti-bacterial soap and individual towels are provided for the children (I make sure they wash-up when needed). I have two high-powered HEPA air purifiers for bacteria, viruses, and pollutants in the main areas. The house is cleaned and disinfected daily after pick-up; toys and all other materials are also cleaned and maintained to a healthy standard. Any child who becomes sick with a rash, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or severe cold symptoms is isolated until urgent pick-up (there is an area assigned for this). This situation requires that you pick up your child immediately (within an hour after notification) and keep them for at least 24-hours after they are cleared of all symptoms or cleared* by a doctor’s note from a physical exam of the illness. *We retain the right for final determination if the child may return to care.
Standard 6: Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support
Our staff is specially trained and experienced in child development and childcare. Our main teacher holds two associate degrees (Liberal Arts and Global Studies) and a bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley in Interdisciplinary Studies along with a Master Teacher credential by the State of California (in process) and childcare license that requires professional training for the health and care of infants and children. Continuing education for professional development is completed yearly. Assistants and volunteers are properly trained in procedures and curriculum objectives.
Standard 7: Families
We love our families! Your involvement with us is important and cherished, so we create a welcoming environment to collaborate with you for your child’s academics and defer to your expertise for your child’s personal needs. Regular communication in person and in the form of newsletters, announcements, assessments, and copies of our curriculum are provided so that you are always aware of what is taking place. We encourage your participation and offer many opportunities to take part in your child’s learning. Your family’s needs and values are respected and encouraged with an open-door policy to talk about any issues, concerns, or thoughts you may need to communicate with us.
Standard 8: Community Relationships
Our program exemplifies community connections in both academic and extracurricular activities! Family Field Trips are inspired by the learning objectives each month and take us to museums, festivals, and performances. Museums and local history points-of-interest are also used as cultural resources for our families. The children love to browse through our semi-monthly “haul” of library books and enjoy our annual visit from firefighters, so we work hard to cultivate strong relationships with our local libraries and fire stations.
Standard 9: Physical Environment
To receive a license, a facility must pass an inspection for health, safety, and an environment that will be appropriate for the child’s enjoyment and development. Toys, furniture, materials, and the site must all be in good condition. Annual, unannounced inspections take place to ensure these standards are maintained and a public record is kept of any violations. Our facility maintains all of these standards to the utmost quality. Children are supervised by sight and sound at all times.
- We have lithium-battery smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a 2A:10:BC class Fire Extinguisher, child-proof latches, and safe locations for hazardous materials (sharp objects, medicines, cleaning products, etc.). Emergency plans are provided and there are enough emergency supplies for all children; full emergency drills are conducted every six months. There is no pool or water feature. The backyard is fully fenced with a locked gate, monthly safety checks for all play equipment, and a Ring doorbell provides video security monitoring of the front premises.
Standard 10: Leadership and Management
We have the specialized courses in both childhood education and child development to properly manage quality operations and programs. As administrator, my qualifications include a university degree, specialized early child education courses, training in child development and health practices, teaching and student counseling experience, and supervisory experience. I maintain strict ethical practices and adhere to all state and federal regulations and policies for providing a quality environment for children, families, and caretakers.
If you have any specific questions or wish to discuss a standard further, please feel free to contact us by phone or email.