HEALTH & SAFETY STANDARDS

 National Accreditation of Christian Private Schools High School Health & Safety Standards
National Accreditation of Christian Private Schools

Health and Safety Standards

 

1. Nutrition and Food Services: The food service program demonstrates healthy and nutrition procedures for students by establishing and preserving procedures that are in accordance with all local, state, and federal requirements for the preparation, handling, storage, and serving of food.

 

2. Governance and Administration:  The organization  has a governing entity which assumes the undertaking for the development of general school governance policies, maintaining the stated direction of the school ministry, an yearly evaluation of the supervisor, the economic stability of the school, and has access to general reliable counsel. The organization maintains a Policy or Administrative Manual, minutes of the meetings of the governing entity, Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. School procedure is absolutely communicated to case staff at the hand of a amply written Personnel Manual or Faculty Handbook. ​
 

3. Relationships: The organization conducts consistent faculty meetings that boost components of professional development. The organization has a Faculty Manual which contains school policies and procedures notwithstanding the teacher's management in the day-to-day activity of the school. The organization has written policies for the qualifications, selection, preparation, and assignment of substitute teachers.​
 

4. Philosophy of Education: The organization has a written explanation of the philosophy, vision, mission, and objectives which reflect expectations for student teaching and philosophical growth. The philosophy of the organization is based on the Word of God as “the sole rule of faith and practice.” The organization  mission statement is definitely communicated and is utterly applied to every area of the organizations programs, operation, and curriculum, along with the vision of the overall ministry. The goals of the administration are inclusive of the organizations philosophy and mission, and are expressed as temporary goals (1-3 years) and long-term goals (4 or more years). The prospectus of the organization, developed in coordination with the Parent/Student Handbook , publications, and advertisements, completely addresses consumer protection requirements set forth in state and federal law.

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5. Curriculum and Child Development: Each organization Curriculum and Child Development course of action must meet the student’s spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development. The organization utilizes a sequential curriculum of study from course to grade and subject to subject, which is periodically reviewed and based on appropriate research or long-term verified success. The organization system is appropriate to each child's/student developmental level and shall present curriculum content that will help them grow spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically, and shall allow learning.

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6. Personnel: The organization effective supervision and evaluation are followed according to policy for all school personnel. The organization maintains an on-going process of orientation, screening, fingerprinting, and training for volunteers as provided in state law.​

 

7. Health, Safety and Transportation: Each program of the organization complies with the various health and safety standards established by federal, state, and local governments and is inspected annually for compliance by local fire and health departments. Such satisfaction is preliminary to NACPS accreditation. Regular attention to safety measures for the protection of students/faculty is evident. All areas, both indoors and outdoors, are appropriate for their intended purposes and are adequate to accommodate the classes or the individuals using them. The organization transportation program demonstrates safety and regulation in the transportation of students by establishing and maintaining procedures that are in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations including vehicle procurement, maintenance, field trips, recreational or athletic activities, and parent-provided vehicle transportation.

8. All Church, Private School and day School Program facilities must be members of NACPS before applying for (Religious Exemption Status.)Religious Exemption is a status available only to NACPS member schools that meet NACPS published Health, Safety Standards. Religious exemption is not available to stand-alone child care programs that are not part of a church, private school or day school program. Organizations must meet NACPS health and safety standards and receive a satisfactory site visit before exemption is granted.

Health, Safety and Transportation

3.1 Supervision and Access

3.1.1 Supervision of Arrivals and Departures: Safe arrival and departure procedures have been developed that ensure all children in the program are accounted for throughout the day and released only to authorized adults. Children are supervised by sight at all times, and transition of children from one teacher to another or from one area to another is accounted for to ensure the supervision and whereabouts of children at all times.

 

Crossover Standards:


6.2.1 Qualifications of Program Director: Program Administrators
6.3 Instructional and Support Staff Qualifications
6.5.2 Ratios and Group Size:
6.6.3 Attendance/Monitoring:
6.6.4 Internal Communication Related to Supervision:
7.2.2 Visitation Rights:

3.2 Transportation

Crossover Standards:
2.3.4 Insurance:  
 
3.2.1 Field Trip Policies and Procedures: Written permission and emergency treatment forms are obtained from parents/guardians for every student being transported, the form must be signed by a parent/guardian listed on the enrollment application. One permission form may be used for regularly schedule pick up and drop off, individual permission forms must be obtained for any other scheduled event.


3.2.2 Vehicle Inspection, Permits, and Qualified Drivers: Current documentation is available on all vehicle safety inspections and driver qualifications. A certified mechanic verifying that all vehicles are in compliance with vehicle transportation safety requirements must inspect vehicles no less than annually.


3.2.3 Vehicles with Restraining Devices and Emergency Equipment: Vehicles are equipped with age-appropriate restraint devices. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers never sit in the front seat of the vehicle, those over the age of 6 and under the age of 12 do not sit in the front seat of a vehicle with an active passenger airbag. One worker must remain with the vehicle at all times when children are inside. Children are never left unattended in a vehicle. An additional staff person is required to properly transition children from a vehicle in to or from any building. Emergency reflectors in case of a break down, fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit are mandatory.


3.2.4 Qualified Drivers: All drivers are named as drivers on the insurance policy and hold a valid Florida drivers license including any CDL endorsements that may be required based on the vehicle's capacity. Are drivers must have current First Aid and infant/child CPR certification. In addition, drivers must have a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination (DOT form 649-F) verifying fitness to operate a vehicle based on Federal DOT standards.


3.2.5 Field Trip Policies and Procedures: The program has written field trip policies and procedures that ensure the supervision of all children at all times and thus promote the safety of the children. These policies are shared with parents/guardians and implemented by the program in the Parent Handbook. Attendance checks are logged before, regularly during, and upon return to the program’s facilities. Trip logs are to be filed in the centers office no less than weekly, and remain on file no less than six months.


3.2.6 Communication Devices, Contact Information: The driver or a member of the staff has a cell phone for communication as needed. The emergency contact information to the center, director or other staff members and emergency services is always with the vehicle or driver. Current contact information for the parents/guardians of each child being transported is present any time students are being transported.


3.2.7 Emergency Care/Medication: If any student(s) have medical issues that may require additional care or intervention necessary measures and supplies are available when the student is being transported.

3.3 Child Discipline/Discipline Policy

Crossover Standard:
7.2.1 Contents and Communication:

3.4 Physical Environment

3.4.1 Lighting and Ventilation: The physical environment of the program provides sufficient lighting, good ventilation.

3.4.2 Classroom Maintenance: The facilities are organized, well maintained, and free of vermin infestation, safety hazards, offensive odors or toxic plants. 

3.4.3 Cleanliness of Facilities: The facilities are cleaned on a daily basis, including sanitizing the bathrooms and removing trash. The facilities are free of mold.

3.4.4 Sanitizing Toys and Equipment The program has an established plan of sanitizing toys and equipment regularly, but providing more frequent sanitization as needed to maintain a healthy environment for the children.

 

Toys that are put into the mouth by a child are not to be used by other children until sanitized. Minimum sanitizing schedule:

  • Infants: daily

  • Toddlers: semiweekly

  • Preschoolers: weekly


3.4.5 Proper Chemical Labeling and Storage: All chemicals, medicines, cleaning supplies, poisonous items and other “dangerous if swallowed” materials are stored in their original containers. All potentially dangerous products are stored in a locked area. An MSD (Material Safety Data) sheet is strategically placed near harmful chemicals.


3.4.6 Tobacco, Alcohol, Narcotics etc.: The tobacco, alcohol and narcotics policy applies to all members of the staff as well as parents/guardians when they are on campus, or assisting in any program activity. Tobacco products of any kind are not allowed on premises. Smoking cigarettes (including the use of electronic substitutes which will appear to children to be the same as smoking actual tobacco) or having any form of tobacco in the mouth is prohibited on campus, during any activity organized as an official part of the program. Possession of, consumption of, or being impaired by, the use of alcohol is prohibited. Possession of, consumption of, or being impaired by, the use of narcotics or other impairing drugs even if legalized by the State of Florida is prohibited.

3.4.7 Firearms/Weapons: Firearms or weapons are not permitted on campus, program vehicles, or on any person located on the premises with the exception of federal, state or local law enforcement officers.


3.4.8 Temperature: The physical environment of the program maintains a comfortable temperature no less than 65°F or greater than 82°F.


3.4.9 Telephone: At least one working telephone is available to all staff personnel during the hours of operation. 

3.4.10 Classroom Size: Classrooms are suitable for the age and activities of the children in the program. Floor space meets or exceeds a minimum of thirty-five square feet of usable space per child.


3.4.11 Classroom Age Appropriate/Safe Furniture and Equipment: The environment facilitates optimal age-appropriate learning experiences with appropriate and safe furniture and equipment. Including but not limited to:

  • Shelving and storage units provide an organized flow to the room and thereby invite children to interact with materials and equipment.

  • Heavy furniture, climbing equipment, swings, and slides are stable or securely anchored.

  • Sturdy, low furniture is available for those who are learning to walk.

  • If high chairs or boosters are used, they have a wide base or are securely attached to a table or another chair. They have a T-shaped restraint/harness that is fastened every time they are used.

  • Cushioning materials are placed under all climbers, swings, and slides over 36 inches high, both indoors and outdoors.

  • There are no movable baby walkers (stationary saucers are permitted).

  • Children always wear a helmet while riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and in-line or roller skates.


3.4.12 Classroom Arrangement: The physical environment of the classroom is arranged not only to stimulate learning by accommodating large and small groups of children but also to encourage exploration and experimentation.

 

The following are examples:

  • Infants have a protected space for crawling and playing away from more mobile babies.

  • Mirrors, pull-up bars, and/or other interactive items are placed on the walls at babies' eye level.

  • Sturdy, low furniture is available for those who are learning to walk.


3.4.13 Classroom Children's Storage Space: Children are provided with individual spaces, such as cubbies, in which they can store their work and personal belongings.


3.4.14 Classroom/Play Area Flooring: The physical environment includes appropriate room flooring and soft areas that are comforting to children. All floors used by children are swept and/or vacuumed daily. Washable floors used by children are mopped with disinfectant at least twice a week.


3.4.15 Classroom Materials: Classroom materials are in good repair, non-toxic, stored and used in a safe manner. Toys and storage areas are inspected on a regular basis, to prevent injury from broken toys or equipment. No list can be exhaustive with children the following are examples for reference:

  • Art and other materials are non-toxic.

  • Music is pleasant, not over stimulating or distracting.

  • Older children have a place to use materials without interference from younger children.

  • Materials are stored in consistent places.

  • If there is a toy chest, it has safety hinges and air holes, or there is no lid.

  • Separate containers are provided for different kinds of materials


3.4.16 Hot Water, Water Pipes, Heaters or Beverages: If heated water is accessible to children, it is not hot enough to scald, or cause discomfort to children. (110° or less) No hot water pipes or radiators are exposed in areas that children have access to. Hot beverages like coffee are not in areas where children can assess them or cause a spill.


3.4.17 Safe Electrical Outlets/Cords: If there are children under the age of 6, electrical outlets in the wall are covered with a choke-proof, child-resistant device, in use, or otherwise “child proof”.  All electrical cords within children's reach are secured. No cords are placed under rugs or carpeting. This standard applies in every classroom or area where children play or have an activity including meal time, to prevent children from being shocked by electricity.


3.4.18 Windows: If windows more than 3 feet above ground can be opened, they cannot be opened more than 6 inches or they are opened from the top and have safety guards, with bars no more than 4” apart. The safety guards must be removable from inside or outside by an adult in case of an emergency. Cords of window coverings are secured or out of children's reach. Windows that can be opened have screens in good repair.


3.4.19 Director's Office: The facilities include appropriate office space for the director of the program that is sufficient in size and location outside of the classroom to effectively administrate the program.


3.4.20 Staff Meeting Room: The facilities include an appropriate area for staff meetings and breaks.

3.4.21 Storage Space: The facilities provide suitable storage space, for limited use, or special event materials and for classroom items to be rotated.

3.5 Outdoor Play Areas and Equipment 

3.5.1 Outdoor Safety: The program provides a balance of sun and shade. Ponds, wells, tool sheds, and other hazards are fenced or closed off. The outside activity areas are inspected daily before children are allowed to enter for insects that may cause injury such as ants, wasps, objects that may cause injury such as nails, glass and other hazards including but not limited to, broken equipment, fallen branches sink holes etc.


3.5.2 Outside Security: The program provides adequate protection for the play area, including fencing that is no less than four (4) feet at its lowest point. Equipment is safe and well designed for safe use and properly maintained. A clearance area and fall zone that extends at least 6 feet beyond the stationary swing that surrounds swings and other climbing equipment. Each swing hangs at least 30 inches away from the support poles. Swing seats do not have pinch points or "S" hooks. Hooks at the top of swing ropes or chains are closed.


3.5.3 Outside Maintenance: Equipment is safe and well designed for safe use and properly maintained. A clearance area and fall zone that extends at least 6 feet beyond the stationary swing that surrounds swings and other climbing equipment. Each swing hangs at least 30 inches away from the support poles. Swing seats do not have pinch points or "S" hooks. Hooks at the top of swing ropes or chains are closed.


3.5.4 Swimming Pools: If the program has access to a swimming pool, a certified lifeguard or equivalent is always present. The individual serving as the lifeguard cannot be counted in the class ratio calculations for the group, or be designated as the individual reasonable for maintaining direct supervision.


3.5.5 Adequate Outdoor Space: To accommodate the children’s various play activities, including open space for active movement, some play equipment and materials, and places for open-ended explorations. The outdoor physical environment includes seventy-five square feet per child on the playground at any given time.


3.5.6 Playground Equipment: Playground equipment is varied and sufficient for the number of children on the playground at the same time. The playground is designed and equipped to provide optimal learning experiences for children. Outdoor play equipment is spaced to avoid safety hazards for active children. No trampolines are accessible to the children in care, except for therapeutic equipment used with supervision.


3.5.7 Playground Supervision: Children are supervised at all times, and the child-adult ratio is maintained while the children are on the playground.


3.5.8 Playground Surfaces: Wood chips, mulch, sand, and other cushioning materials of adequate depths are used on all surfaces. Under equipment such as swings and climbing apparatus, six (6) inches is recommended allowing for wear and time the cover is never less than three 3 inches in depth.


3.5.9 Inspections and Repairs: Through routine inspections and resulting timely repairs, the outdoor play area is well maintained to prevent children from being injured by broken equipment, sharp edges, and rusty parts. If there is a sand area or box, it is covered when not in use.


3.5.10 Substitute and Adequate Space Indoors for Large Group Play: When inclement weather prevents children from playing outdoors, alternative activities are planned to ensure large-motor exercise and to foster large-motor development.


3.5.11 Maintenance of Buildings Exterior and Grounds: There is a process in place that ensures proper maintenance of the buildings, grounds, and equipment. Play space, including neighborhood playground if used, is free of animal feces, broken glass, paint chips, or trash.

 

There is no flaking or peeling paint or bare soil within 15 feet of a structure.

3.6 Sleeping Areas:

3.6.1 Sleeping Areas: Children are provided with sanitary, individual sleeping spaces and a mattresses or floor mat. Younger children will be provided with an adequate bed, cot, crib or playpen.

  • Space will be provided allowing their faces to be at least 3 feet apart from each other.

  • Each child will be no less than eighteen (18) inches apart.

  • Floor mats are at least one (1) inch thick and covered with an impermeable surface.

  • Children up to one year old, are in their own crib, port-a-crib or playpen.

  • Each child’s bedding is stored so that it does not come into contact with other bedding.

  • Personnel ensure that young infants are not capable of rolling over on their own and are positioned on their back on a firm surface when napping and sleeping.

  • Sleeping areas for babies do not have any surface that can conform to the face, including a soft pillow, soft mattress, comforter, or stuffed animal.

  • Even will lights dimmer or turned off, staff can still see each child clearly to maintain proper supervision.

  • Double or multi-deck cribs, cots or beds are not used.


3.6.2 Cribs and portable cribs: (full size and non-full size) used for babies have a date of manufacture label after June 28, 2011 or a Certificate of Compliance from the manufacturer. This does not apply to mesh/net/screen cribs, non-rigidly constructed cribs, cradles (both rocker and pendulum types), car beds, baby baskets, and bassinets that may be used.


3.6.3 Washing of Infant and Toddler Bedding: Infant and toddler bedding is washed at a minimum of twice per week and more often when soiled, and it is used by only one child between washings. Bedding used by preschoolers is washed a minimum of once per week and more often when soiled, and is used by only one child between washings.

 

3.7 Hand Washing

3.7.1 Hand Washing: Children and adults wash their hands after toileting, before eating or handling food, and as otherwise necessary to prevent the spread of disease. Hand washing procedures (Use soap and running water, dry thoroughly.) are posted in all locations that are used by children to wash their hands.

            
3.8 Toileting and Bathing Facilities

3.8.1 Accessible & Appropriate Sinks and Toilets: Sinks and toilets are readily accessible to children. The number of sinks and toilets (child-sized ones are recommended) must be adequate for the number of children in attendance and easily accessible.


3.8.2 Bathroom Sanitization:

  • Platforms and stools have surfaces that can be easily cleaned and sanitized as needed.

  • Soap, running water, and paper towels or hand drying machines are provided within reach of children.

  • If paper towels or hand drying machines are not used, then each child has an assigned towel that is used consistently, doesn’t touch other towels, and is laundered weekly or more often if needed.

  • If a potty chair is used, it is washed and sanitized after each use.


3.8.3 Facility Bathroom: Except in facilities that only serves school-age children, at least one bathing facility is available for staff members, which are not used by the children.


3.8.4 Bathroom Safety: Any area with access to water by children, requires additional safety precautions. A secure step stool that will not slide from under younger children, but can be moved for older children if they use the same facility is to be used. Children under the age of two may be held while washing their hands. Children cannot lock themselves into rooms. Privacy locks on bathroom or bedroom doors are inaccessible to children, or locks can be opened quickly from outside. No cleaning supplies, plungers, toilet brushes etc. are accessible to children.

 

3.9 Diapering Area:

3.9.1 Diapering of Infants and Toddlers:

  • The diapering area has an impermeable surface in good repair and is cleaned with a sanitizing solution or disinfected after each use.

  • Adequate supply of clean diapers, clothing and linens are on hand at all times.

  • Soiled linens, or articles of clothing are changed promptly when soiled or wet.

  • Diapering and toileting areas are separated from food areas. (No direct access to food prep areas)

  • All diapers are stored in a sealed plastic lined container that is covered with a step-operated lid, and are emptied and sanitized when full but no less than once daily.

  • Diapers area are located out of reach of babies and toddlers.

  • Gloves as well as running water and soap for hand washing are accessible and utilized by the staff during diapering.

 

3.10 Fire Drills and Emergency Preparedness

 

Crossover Standards:
 

2.2.2 Documentation of Inspections: 

3.10.1 Exits and Stairs: All exits are clearly marked and clear of obstructions. Doors are locked to protect form unauthorized access from outside. Multiple methods of exiting the building in the case of an emergence are provided. Exits are usable by toddlers and older children. Stairs have additional safety measures in place including but not limited to:

  • Each floor used by children has at least two exits that lead to the ground level.

  • Stairs with more than 3 steps, or a total rise of 24 inches or more, have railings usable by the children.

  • Railings are on the right side when descending, if possible.

  • Secure and safe gates or barriers close off the top and bottom of all stairs adjoining areas used by children under the age of four (4).

  • There are no pressure gates or accordion gates with openings large enough to entrap a child’s head.


3.10.2 First Aid Kits: The program maintains adequate first aid supplies that are conveniently available in the classrooms, and all activity areas, but not to the children. The program maintains a detailed medical log regarding the use of these items.


           Thermometer
           Minimum of one instant ice pack
           Bandages (minimum of 12)
           Three (30 gauze pads (3" x 3") or larger
           One self-sticking gauze roll
           Elastic gloves
           No First Aid Kit will have medications of any kind


3.10.3 Fire Drills: An ongoing system of Fire Drills is in place to assure children are prepared for an emergency evacuation.

  • A minimum of one each month.

  • Drills are conducted at various days of the week.

  • Fire Drills are conducted during different times of the day including one during nap time.

  • The staff person designated as the individual reasonable for maintaining direct supervision accompanies staff out of the building with the days current attendance record which is used to account for all children.

            
3.10.4 Emergency Preparedness Plans: The program has a general disaster plan and/or an Emergency Crisis Manual that includes evacuation procedures and inside actions in the event of a disaster or crisis (e.g., snowstorm, tornado, lightning, flooding, fire, bomb threat, violence, and hostage situation). The plan includes at a minimum:

  • Directions for disasters common to the geographic area.

  • Staff members are trained and familiar with routes and procedures.

  • The address and directions to the facility and emergency phone numbers including ambulance, fire, police, poison control and the Florida Abuse Hotline are posted near all phones.

  • Emergency evacuation routes are posted in each classroom, and staff regularly practice drills with the children.


3.10.5 Fire Extinguishers and Detectors: Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are provided and checked on a regular maintained schedule.

  • All staff members are trained in the use of fire extinguishers.

  • A working ABC-type fire extinguisher is located in or near the kitchen and on each floor used by children, with instructions for its use attached or posted.

  • The recommended dates on fire extinguishers are not expired.

  • Fire extinguishers are inspected by a qualified inspector annually.


3.10.6 Fire Safety: Flammable materials are not stored in areas used for child care. Children do not have access to matches or lighters.

3.11 Background Screening and Certifications

Crossover Standards:
6.2.13 Personnel Files:

3.11.1 First Aid Certified Personnel: At least one staff member with first aid certification—and infant/child CPR certification will be present on the premises at all times. No less than 50% of staff will have completed first aid and infant/child CPR to met the minimum accreditation standard. All personnel should be scheduled to complete CPR training within ninety days of employment.

3.12 Personnel Training

Crossover Standards:
6.2.1 Qualifications of Program Director: Program Administrators
6.4.4 In-Service Training:

3.13 Communicable Disease Control

Crossover Standards:
2.5.2 Admissions Procedures:

3.13.1 Children or Other Personnel who are ill: A written policy regarding the attendance of children or staff members who are ill, have been diagnosed with a contagious disease, or have been found to have a communicable condition has been developed and made available to parents/guardians. An isolation area is made available for ill or contagious children while they wait for someone to take them home. The isolation area is:

  • Adequately ventilated

  • Temperature controlled

  • Equipped with a bed, mot or cot

  • Linens or other materials can be easily cleaned, sanitized and disinfected after use and they are removed and properly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected, immediately after use.

  • Any child or staff member who has a condition that is easily transmitted is not permitted to return until treatment has been completed and verified.


3.13.2 Notification of local Health Departments: If the outbreak of any communicable disease is suspected the local Health Department is notified immediately. The Center will then comply with any and all directions provided by the department.

3.14 Medication

3.14.1 Administering Medicines: A written policy for administering and storing medications has been developed and made available to the parents/guardians of the children in the program in the Parent Handbook. When ever possible the parent/guardian should visit the center to administer any medication. Medicines are securely stored and can only be accessed by authorized personnel.

The provider does not administer any medications and other remedies unless without:

  • Written directions from a health care professional

  • Parent/guardians signed permission.

  • Prescription medication is only administered from the original container.

  • The written directions on the label are always followed.


3.14.2 Medical Log: A detailed medical log is maintained that includes a record of all medications given to children, time parent/guardian was notified and by whom, the time and dosage of the medication and the person administering the medication.

3.15 Food and Nutrition

Crossover Standards:
4.1.2 Nutritional Guidelines:
4.1.3 Food Storage:
4.1.4 Meals and Snacks:
4.3.1 Standards for Mealtime:
4.3.2 Size of Furniture:

3.16 Record Keeping

Crossover Standards:
2.6.1 Records:
6.6.3 Attendance/Monitoring:

3.16.1 Minor Injury: If a child receives an injury beyond a minor scrape or bruise, the provider contacts a parent as soon as possible. Parent is given a written accident report within 24 hours which includes a description of the accident, action taken, outcome, and how the child responded. Parent must sign the report to validate notification. Accident reports are then file with in the student file.

 

3.17 Plan of Activities

 

Crossover Standards:
5.1.3 Schedules and Routines:  
5.3.2 Emotional Development, Self-Awareness, and Self Esteem 

Staff Hiring Practices and Benefits

6.1.1 Employee Handbook: All staff receives a copy of the Employee Handbook. The staff is instructed at least annually on the program's employee policies.

6.1.2 Nondiscrimination Policy: The program has a published Nondiscrimination Policy relating to its hiring practices, stating that it does not discriminate against any person or group of persons on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnic origin, physical disability or age. (Age has the exception of minimum age requirements for many positions.)

6.1.3 Background Screening: The program’s hiring procedures include Level 2 background screening and fingerprinting to obtain a history regarding abuse and any criminal convictions for all employees and for others who have direct access with the children in the program. This includes the Director, Primary Teachers, Associate Teachers, Teacher's Aids, Volunteers, Office Personnel, Kitchen and Maintenance Staff.

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6.1.4 Staff Orientation: New staff is provided with an orientation and/or a Staff Manual that includes, but not limited to the following:

 

  • Goals and philosophy of the program

  • Planned activities for the program

  • Appropriate classroom management techniques

  • Routines and transitions in which the children in the program are engaged

  • Discipline policies and procedures

  • Communication with parents

  • Mealtimes and food-handling policies

  • Occupational health hazards

  • Emergency health and safety procedures

  • General health policies and procedures including, but not limited to the following:

  • hand-washing techniques

  • diapering techniques and toileting (including proper diaper disposal and diaper-changing techniques where applicable)

  • Child abuse/child neglect detection, prevention, and reporting

  • Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures

  • Recognition of symptoms of illness, documentation of these symptoms, and implementation of ill-child policies that include the following: Applying the program’s policies regarding exclusion of ill children and readmission of them after illness Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures, documenting and administering prescribed medication if given to children during program hours by program employees Notifying parents/guardians regarding a communicable disease occurring in children or staff

  • Assessing the health of children daily

 

6.2 Director

6.2.1 Qualifications of Program Director: Program Administrators must be at least 21 years of age and have a minimum of:

 

An Associate’s degree or higher.

 

9 credit hours in administration, leadership, or management.

 

15 credit hours in early childhood, child development, elementary education, or special early childhood special education that addresses child development and learning from birth through kindergarten.

 

Two years experience as a teacher of children in the age group(s) they oversee.

 

A minimum of eight (8) hours of basic training in serving children with disabilities within five years after employment.

6.2.2 General Responsibilities of Program Director: The director is charged with assuming responsibility of the day-to-day operations of the program, maintaining program policies, and monitoring the program’s compliance with applicable requirements of civil authorities. The director’s leadership addresses the program’s goal of fostering the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, spiritual and character development of children.

6.2.3 Continuing Education and Development: The director obtains a minimum of thirty clock hours during the first year of employment, especially as related to State requirements. An additional twenty-four hours per year of continuing professional development, provided by a qualified entity, in such areas as emergent literacy and mathematics, child or staff development, programming, administration, health and safety, family relations, legal issues, communications, and technology is recommended. Whenever possible, continuing education should be validated by college credit and provided as a benefit of employment, part of tuition reimbursement program or financial assistance.

6.2.4 Hiring Staff: The director/administrator is responsible for hiring staff that supports the philosophy and mission of the program in accordance with applicable governance procedures.

6.2.5 Evaluation of New Employees: The director ensures a formal evaluation of new employees takes place no more than six months into the orientation period and at pre-determined periods thereafter.

6.2.6 Evaluation of all Employees: The director ensures for each staff member an annual written confidential, evaluation is conducted, recognizing strengths as well as areas needing improvement. Areas needing improvement receive follow-up. The evaluation is kept in the staff member's file.

Indicators of Compliance

6.2.7 Staff Substitutes: The director has a current list of qualified substitutes who may be called upon to maintain the integrity of the program.

6.2.8 Acting Director: The director designates a qualified person to assume leadership and responsibility of the early education program in the event of his/her absence.

6.2.9 Developing Relationships Among Staff: Staff treats colleagues with equal respect and consideration regardless of gender, race, color, ethnic origin, or physical disability. Respectful relationships between colleagues are encouraged and reflect mutual trust, respect, and support for each other. Staff members seek out and acknowledge the ideas and opinions of others. Staff members give positive recognition to each others’ skills and accomplishments and provide appropriate support for each other in dealing with stress to maintain confidence at all time.

6.2.10 Developing Relationships with Children: Team members treat children with equal respect and consideration regardless of gender, race, color, ethnic origin, or physical disability. Respectful relationships with children are developed by smiling, touching, holding, and speaking to children at their eye level throughout the day, during routines such as arrival and departure and mealtimes, as well as during teacher-planned and child-initiated experiences.

6.2.11 Staff Meetings: The director builds strong relationships and communication between the staff and administration, and encourages team collaboration and spirit among the staff. Regular staff meetings are held for staff to consult on program planning, to plan for implementing and attaining goals, to plan for individual children and family involvement, and to discuss program and working conditions.

6.2.12 Program Evaluation with Staff: The director meets with the staff annually to evaluate the early education program and to discuss areas of strengths as well as areas needing improvement. The areas needing improvement are addressed after the meetings through a specific Program Improvement Plan.

6.2.13 Personnel Files: The director maintains a confidential personnel file on each employee, volunteer and substitute. The file should contain, but not be limited to the following and/or contain information that civil authorities require:

 

  • Resume

  • Application

  • Copies of college or university transcripts

  • Background screening and results

  • Fingerprints/clearance

  • First Aid / Infant/Child CPR Certification

  • Annual staff evaluations

  • Documentation of any grievances

  • Evidence of in-service training

  • Copy of contract/work agreement

  • I-9 form (Not required for volunteers)

 

6.3 Instructional and Support Staff Qualifications

All staff, regardless of position, must meet the requirements of 6.1.3 Background Screening and 6.1.4 Staff Orientation before they are permitted to work with children, alone or supervised. Primary Teachers must be at least 21 years of age, Associate teachers must be at least 18 years of age and all Teachers Aids/Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.

6.3.1 Primary Teacher Qualifications (Staff Credential): (The primary teacher is in charge of oversight and implementation/teaching of curriculum and classroom learning activities and assessments.) Must be at least 21 years of age and have met one of the following qualifications:

 

Active National Child Development Associate (CDA) or other early childhood credential that meets or exceeds the requirements of the National CDA

 

B.A., B.S. or advanced degree in ONE of the following areas: Early Childhood Education/Child Development, Pre-Kindergarten or Primary Education, Preschool Education, Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics/Child Development), Exceptional Student Education, Special Education, Mental Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Physically Impaired, Varying Exceptionalities, Emotional Disabilities, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Speech-Language Pathology or Elementary Education with certification to teach any age birth through 6th grade.

 

A.S., A.A. degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development.

 

Associate's degree or higher WITH at least six (6) college credit hours in early childhood education/child development AND at least 480 hours experience in a child care setting serving children ages birth through eight.

 

Active Birth through Five Child Care Credential (Formerly the Florida Child Development Associate Equivalency Credential (CDAE).

 

Active School-Age Child Care Credential.

6.3.2 Associate Teacher Qualifications: (The associate teacher fulfills the normal duties of a teacher in a classroom under the supervision of the primary teacher.) Must be at least 18 years of age and meet all of the qualifications listed below:

 

Have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

 

Have a CDA or its equivalent. (A minimum of 12 college credits in early childhood/child development courses) or (Florida 40-clock-hour Introductory Child Care Training comprised of Part I and Part II courses.)

 

Be working toward the completion of an AA degree, earning a minimum of 12 credits per year.

6.3.3 Teachers Aid/Volunteers Qualifications: (May assist in classroom duties or group activities under the supervision of the primary teacher.) A teacher's aid/volunteer may have no experience.  Teacher’s aids/volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and work under the direct supervision of an adult at all times.  In addition, they must have begun the Florida DCF 40-hour training.

6.3.4 Non-teaching Support Staff Qualifications: Support staff indicates individuals who have any duties on campus and therefore may come into contact with children. They do not assist in class or activities. Support Staff must be at least 16 years of age and work under the direct supervision of an adult at all times. Regardless of position, if they come on campus, the requirements of 6.1.3 Background Screening and 6.1.4 Staff Orientation apply.

 

6.4 Instructional and Support Staff Policies

6.4.1 Job Descriptions/Staff Policies: Clear up-to-date written personnel polices have been developed by the program. These policies include, but are not limited to job descriptions; wages and benefits; and resignation, termination, and grievance procedures.

6.4.2 Communication of Personnel Policies: Written personnel policies have been communicated with the staff, and receipt of them by the staff has been documented.

           

6.4.3 Pre-Service Orientation: All personnel, including volunteers and substitutes, must have on file the appropriate screening and background checks and be adequately oriented about the program. Orientation includes but is not limited to:

 

  • Knowledge regarding the goals and philosophy of the program

  • Emergency, health and safety procedures

  • Child abuse and neglect reporting procedures

  • Curriculum & planned daily activities

  • Guidance and classroom management techniques

  • Regulatory requirements

  • Individual needs of children

  • Expectations for ethical conduct

6.4.4 In-Service Training: All Child Care personnel must have continuing education and professional development training that relates to topics specific to early education. The majority of which must be provided by an outside source relating to: child growth and development in the areas of cognitive learning and social, emotional, and physical development; safety and health issues for young children; family and community relations; classroom and program management; and professional development, which may include special needs. Training may also include related language development, discipline, and technology. Whenever possible, continuing education should be validated by college credit.

 

The DCF 40 clock hour introductory course in child care is required unless exempt under 402.305(2)(d)(1). Additional Guidelines:

 

All Child Care personnel must begin the 40 hours course within 30 days of employment.

 

A minimum of 5 house in Early Literacy and Language Development of children from birth to 5 years of age, as approved by the Department of Children and Families.

 

  • Annual Training Minimums:

  • Administrators -24 hours

  • Primary Teachers -20 hours

  • Associate Teachers and Teacher Aids -12 hours

 

6.5 Supervision of Children

6.5.1 Primary Teacher/Caregiver In order to help ensure the care, bonding, and nurturing of the individual child, each group of children has one primary teacher/caregiver per class or age group.

6.5.2 Ratios and Group Size: When mixed age groups of infants and toddlers are in the same room, the child staff ratio is maintained according to the youngest child in the room. If all the children in the mixed age group are two years of age or older, the child-staff ratio is maintained according to the average age of the children. If the children in the mixed age group have children of one year old, but under two years of age, the ratio of staff to children shall not exceed 1 to 6.

 

Minimum Staff to Child and Group Ratios for each age group are as follows:

 

Age Class Size Adult/Child Ratio

0-12 mos.        8                      1:4

1 yr.                10                    1:5

2 yrs.               12                    1:6

3 yrs.               16                    1:8

4 yrs.               20                    1:10

5 yrs.               24                    1:12

 K                     28                    1:14

6.6.3 Attendance/Monitoring: The staff maintains direct supervision of children at all time. Direct supervision is defined as within hearing and sight at all times including during nap time, diaper changing, toileting, bating, changing clothes and when separated from other children do to illness or possible communicable disease. If students are dropped off and picked up directly into a classroom the Primary or Associate Teacher will be staff person designated as the individual reasonable for maintaining direct supervision will maintain the attendance records. If children are dropped off or picked up at a central location the supervisor at that location must communicate with the classroom teacher to assure an accurate total, and individual group or class counts are maintained. Attendance records are file in the administrative office for a period of no less than one year.

 

6.6.4 Internal Communication Related to Supervision: Primary and Associate teachers are assigned specific classes or groups of children to supervise, and are present with that class or group at all times. Staff members who are sharing the responsibility of a group of children communicates with one another to ensure smooth operation of the program.

 

6.7 Internal Relations

6.7.1 Teacher/Caregiver/Staff Survey: All early care and education teachers, caregivers and staff are given the opportunity to complete a survey in which they are asked to evaluate the quality of the early care and education program and work environment yearly. For the initial and renewal accreditation visits, the NACPS Teacher/Staff survey form will be used. The survey is to be sent along with a letter that explains the purpose of the survey as an integral part of the program and solicits full participation. The letter also instructs the personnel to return the completed survey sealed in an envelope and given to a designated holder. The inspector processes the sealed surveys the day of the site visit. Responses from the Survey will be provided to the early childhood program administration with a summary included in the final evaluation report. During the non-visit years surveys are to be conducted internally.