EEC4000_NAEYC_OTool_P_20151001_excerpt_mod4.pdf

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment

© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015

This document incorporates the language of all NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria,
including 39 criteria that are not currently assessed by the NAEYC Academy. (For more information about criteria that the
Academy does not currently assess, click here). When applicable, the language of the criteria includes Guidance for
Assessment, which both explains how the criteria are assessed by NAEYC and clarifies the intent of the criteria.

On April 1, 2014, five criteria were revised to reflect current best practice. Read more.

The entries below contain the following information:

When reading guidance, note the possible ratings used by NAEYC Assessors and their definitions below:

 ‘Yes’: Evidence is found; criterion or indicator is met.

 ‘No’: No evidence is found, or evidence is insufficient to meet criterion or indicator.

 ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable): The criterion or indicator does not apply to this group. The ‘N/A’ rating is only available if it
is noted.

 ‘NoOpp’ (No Opportunity): There was no opportunity to observe the criterion or indicator during the specific
observation. The ‘NoOpp’ rating is only available if it is noted. While ‘NoOpp’ may be used for a specific, time-
limited observation, it is expected that groups display evidence of the criterion sometime throughout the day.

 ‘Not Age’: The criterion or indicator does not apply to the age category being observed. The ‘Not Age’ rating is
only available if it is noted.

Definitions of terms used throughout guidance:

 ‘Varied’ or ‘Multiple’: More than one.

 ‘Such as’ or ‘for example’: Examples which may be used as evidence but do not necessarily need to be seen to
meet the criterion or indicator.

3.B.12 T-P-K Random O, FS, PP

Rate ‘NoOpp’ if no challenging behaviors are observed.

Teachers address challenging behavior by

a assessing the function of the child’s behavior.

b
convening families and professionals to develop individualized plans to address

behavior.

Rate ‘NoOpp’ if no evidence is seen in the classroom.

The individualized plans do not have to be formal IEPs, but may consist of informal

meetings, phone calls, emails, and/or other modes of communication to discuss plans to

address the behaviors.

c using positive behavior support strategies.
Evidence may include such things as policies, examples of how the program addressed a

challenging behavior in the past, or notes between parents and teachers.

Definition of challenging behavior: “Challenging behavior is any behavior that (1) interferes

with children’s learning, development and success at play, (2) is harmful to the child, other

children, or adults, [or] (3) puts a child at high risk for later social problems or school failure.”

(Kaiser & Rasminsky, Challenging Behavior in Young Children (2nd Ed.), Pearson Education

Inc., 2007, p. 8).

Examples of challenging behavior: Physical aggression (hitting, biting, shoving, whacking with

toys), relational aggression (“You can’t play with us”, verbal bullying), tantrums, whining,

testing limits, refusal to follows directions or observe classroom rules.)

Guidance for
Overall Rating

Gray background; justified
left; applies to overall
criterion to indicate when an
overall rating is appropriate.

Guidance for
Specific Indicator

Gray background;
indented; applies to
indicator listed above.

Guidance for
Overall Criterion

Gray background; justified
left; applies to entire
criterion and all indicators;
bolded print indicates new
guidance.

Criterion
Number

Age Category
I = Infant
T = Toddler/Two
P = Preschool
K = Kindergarten

Assessment Category
Required
Always Assessed
Randomly Assessed
Emerging Practice
Not Currently Assessed

Source(s) of Evidence
O = Observable Criteria
PP = Program Portfolio
CP = Classroom Portfolio
TS = Teaching Staff Survey
FS = Family Survey

https://www.naeyc.org/files/academy/file/CriteriaNoLongerAssessed.pdf

http://www.naeyc.org/academy/files/academy/file/RevisedCriteria_201400401.pdf

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment, Page 76 of 99

© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015.

9.A.13 I-T-P-K Not Currently Assessed: Best Practice
Materials, equipment and furnishing should be developmentally appropriate. A classroom furnished with primarily passive

or directive materials would not meet the intent of this criterion.

Examples include a policy or perhaps a mission statement regarding the selection and purchase of materials and

equipment.

9.A.14 I Random O

a Adults have a comfortable place to sit, hold, and feed infants.

“Comfortable” = Adult size

b
Staff place rocking chairs and glider chairs in locations that will avoid injury to children who may be on

the floor.

Rate ‘N/A’ if program does not use rocking chairs or glider chairs.

9.A.15 I Random O, FS

a Nursing mothers have a place to breast-feed their children that meets their needs for comfort and privacy.
The intent of this criterion is to encourage and allow mothers to nurse, if they choose, by providing space for them that is

comfortable and private. Examples may include a nursing room, clean blankets, or a designated area in a classroom or

office that is private for nursing mothers.

9.B. – Outdoor Environmental Design

9.B.01 I-T-P-K Random O

Outdoor play areas, designed with equipment that is age and developmentally appropriate and that is located in

clearly defined spaces with semiprivate areas where children can play alone or with a friend, accommodate…

a motor experiences such as running, climbing, balancing, riding, jumping, crawling, scooting or swinging.

b activities such as dramatic play, block building, manipulative play, or art activities.

c
exploration of the natural environment, including a variety of natural and manufactured surfaces, and

areas with natural materials such as nonpoisonous plants, shrubs and trees.

Rate ‘No’ if the entire outdoor play area is composed of artificial surfaces, or if there is grass but no trees, shrubs

or other plants.

d
The program makes adaptations so children with disabilities can fully participate in the outdoor

curriculum and activities.

Rate ‘N/A’ if no children with special needs are currently enrolled or if the group’s identified special needs do not

require outdoor space or equipment accommodation.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion. Rate all indicators ‘No’ if the group does not use any outdoor play area at least once a week (including public

spaces and private playgrounds) and if the group does not go on walks. If the group does only walks (no outdoor play

areas used or outdoor play area is used less than once a week), rate each indicator ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on its merits.

9.B.02 I-T-P-K Always O

a
Program staff provide an outdoor play area that is protected by fences or by natural barriers to prevent

access to streets and to avoid other dangers, such as pits, water hazards, or wells.
Rate ‘No’ if the program does not use an outdoor play area at least once a week. Examples of outdoor play areas are

playgrounds (public or private), parks, parking lots, and open fields without equipment.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

9.B.03 I-T-P-K Random O

a The outdoor play area is arranged so that staff can supervise children by sight and sound.

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment, Page 77 of 99

© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015.

9.B.03 I-T-P-K Random O
This criterion does not refer to how staff position themselves on the outdoor play area, but refers to how the physical area

and structure is arranged or designed. Rate this criterion on the physical layout and design of the outdoor play areas.

Staff and children need not be present.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

Rate ‘N/A’ if the program does not use an outdoor play area at least once a week and/or if the program only goes on

walks.

9.B.04 I-T-P-K Always O, PP

a

The program provides at least 75 square feet of outside play space for each child playing outside at any

one time. The total amount of required play space is based on a maximum of one-third of the total center

enrollment being outside at one time.
Programs will be required to provide evidence that they meet square footage requirements.

Rate each outdoor play area ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ according to whether it appears on visual inspection to be large enough to

accommodate one of the groups it serves. The total square footage of all outdoor play areas is considered if separate play

areas are used for different age groups.

Total required square footage is based on 1/3 the amount of the total program enrollment being outside at one time unless

the program provides evidence that they schedule playground use in such a way that there is always 75 square feet per

child (for example a playground schedule). If a schedule is not used as evidence, to calculate the maximum number of

children, use the full-time equivalent or the maximum number of children who could be present at one time (so if program

has 4 morning classes and 4 afternoon classes that could each enroll 20 children, the total would be 80 not 160); the

required square footage in this example would be 80 divided by 3 multiplied by 75.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

When assessing public outdoor play areas, or outdoor play areas that are not part of the program and are located off-site,

the program should be using the space at least once a week to be counted toward the 75 square feet of outside play space

the program provides.

9.B.05 I-T-P-K Random O
Rate the entire criterion (all indicators) as ‘N/A’ if the program facility does not have sandboxes

Sandboxes that are part of a program facility:

a are constructed to allow for drainage;

Rate as ‘Yes’ if no drainage problems are observed. Any system to promote drainage and guard against standing

water is appropriate. Examples would be the use of landscape fabric or drainage rock beneath the sand, or ground

graded downward around the sandbox.

b are covered when not in use; and

Rate as ‘NoOpp’ if sandbox is in use throughout the day.

Sand over a large ground surface is considered a sandbox if it appears to be used for sand play (for instance, sand

toys are evident). If used as a sandbox as well as resilient covering, and the entire surface is not covered, rate as

‘No’.

c are cleaned of foreign matter on a regular basis.

Rate as ‘Yes’ if sandboxes are mostly free of foreign matter and appears clean.

d Staff replace sand as often as necessary to keep the sand clean.

Rate as ‘Yes’ if sand appears clean. Rate as ‘No’ if there is no sand in the sandbox.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

9.B.06 I-T-P-K Always O
Instructions: Always assess the outdoor play area that the group uses, whether or not the program owns the area. Rate all

indicators ‘No’ if there are no opportunities for outdoor play for this group, including walks (refer to Playground

Verification Form). Equipment used regularly at any time of the day or year must be assessed. When assessing public

outdoor play areas, or outdoor play areas that are not part of the program and are located off-site, the program should

use the space at least once a week for the space to be considered regularly used.

The outdoor play area protects children from…

a injury from falls (resilient surfacing should extend six feet beyond the limits of stationary equipment).

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment, Page 78 of 99

© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015.

9.B.06 I-T-P-K Always O

This indicator has been identified as a Statement of Best Practice and will no longer be directly assessed during a

site visit.

b [protects children from] catch points, sharp points, and protruding hardware.

Rate as ‘N/A’ if there is no stationary playground equipment.

a-b Indicators ‘a’ and ‘b’ are specific to stationary play equipment.

c
[protects children from] entrapment (openings should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9

inches).

“Generally, an opening presents an entrapment hazard if the distance between any interior opposing surfaces is

greater than 3.5 inches and less than 9 inches.” (source: “Handbook for Playground Safety”, Consumer Product

Safety Commission) Circular openings do not present this hazard. Measure examples of guard rails, ladder rungs,

and other spaces on equipment and structures in the outdoor environment (ie: fences or other areas of the outdoor

environment) where entrapment could occur. Record on the Notes page any openings that do NOT meet this

criterion.

d [protects children from] tripping hazards.

There should be no exposed concrete footings, abrupt changes in surface elevations, tree roots, tree stumps, or

rocks, which can trip children or adults.

e [protects children from] excessive wind and direct sunlight.

Rate ‘Yes’ if one example of protection from the elements is observed. Protection must match the most prevalent

adverse conditions in the local area.

c-e

Indicators ‘c’- ‘e’ are in reference to the entire outdoor play area. Refer to Playground Verification Form and rate

indicators ‘No’ if the group does not use any outdoor play area at least once a week (including public spaces and

private playgrounds) and if the group does not go on walks. If the group does only walks (no outdoor play areas

used or outdoor play area is used less than once a week), rate each indicator as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on its merits.

If children go out on the outdoor play area, even if there is snow, rate this criterion.

If catch points, entrapment areas, tripping hazards or other dangerous features are evident, describe the features and their

location on the Notes Page.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

9.B.07 I-T-P-K Emerging PP
Rate entire criterion ‘N/A’ if the program does not have its own playground.

The findings of an assessment by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector are documented and available on-site.

The assessment documents

a
that play equipment is safe, protecting against death or permanently disabling injury for children from

two years through kindergarten.

The assessment in this criterion refers to an audit, which is an initial inspection of a public playground. The audit

sets the baseline for further inspections and is done to ensure that the playground equipment and surfacing is safe

and has been installed correctly. The National Parks and Recreation Association maintains a directory of Certified

Playground Safety Inspectors. For more information, see http://www.nrpa.org/npsi.

Assessments by individuals who are not Certified Playground Safety Inspectors through the National Parks and

Recreation do not meet this indicator. A public playground is defined by the National Parks and Recreation

Association as a playground that is anchored into the substrate or surface and is used by 6 or more unrelated

children. If the playground does not meet the National Parks and Recreation Association’s definition of a public

playground, then an audit is not applicable.

The audit or initial inspection is different than the regular inspections of playground equipment referenced in

indicators b, c, and d.

b that, through remedial action, the program has corrected any unsafe conditions, where applicable.

c
that an inspection and maintenance program has been established and is performed on a regular basis to

ensure ongoing safety.

d
that the outdoor play area accommodates abilities, needs, and interests of each age group the program

serves.

b-d
A regular inspection and maintenance program may be implemented by individuals certified in playground safety

by groups other than the NPRA, including the National Program for Playground Safety. Documentation of the

regular maintenance and inspection program should be maintained in the Program Portfolio.

When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the

criterion.

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