PA-ECCD 5: Quality and Safety in the Service Environment
Child care is provided in an enriched, interactive environment that is safe and well-suited to meeting the developmental needs of children.
The service environment is adapted and appropriate for children with special needs
The facility or home provides an optimal care and learning environment that is:
- well lit, with natural light where possible;
- maintained at a safe, comfortable temperature;
- odor and smoke free; and
- adequately ventilated.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the premises.
The environment supports positive development and education by providing:
- adequate space to accommodate age-appropriate activities such as crawling, and group and individual play;
- sturdy, child-friendly furniture;
- access to books and reference materials in programs where children do homework;
- places for children to store their belongings; and
- play materials placed in areas children can access without help.
The physical facilities, buildings, and grounds of child care centers include:
- outdoor areas enclosed by fences or natural barriers which support a variety of play activities such as climbing, sports, and digging;
- separate rooms for the children in each age group unless a clear justification for mixing groups exists;
- separate lavatories customized for adults and children that include liquid soap and disposable towels;
- quiet and private indoor areas;
- a reception area for parents, children, and visitors; and
- offices and private areas for parent interviews.
NA The agency does not operate a child care center.
A safe environment is maintained through:
- ensuring stairwells have railings and are closed off from toddler areas;
- providing child-friendly playground equipment that meets national safety standards, and is installed on impact absorbing surfaces;
- using play areas that have shade and drinking water available;
- attending to infants at all times when in swings, jumpers, or other activity equipment; and
- prohibiting infant walkers.
Toys and other materials are:
- child proof, non-toxic, and maintained in good repair;
- disinfected at least weekly and immediately after use if items are placed in a child’s mouth;
- arranged and customized for the ages and abilities of children;
- changed regularly to sustain interest;
- reflective of ethnic diversity and special needs; and
- effective for stimulating motor and language development.
Prior to use, all family childcare homes are screened to ensure they are fully licensed or approved, according to applicable regulatory requirements.
NA The agency does not operate family child care homes.