Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.3 Pre-service Qualifications

1.3.2 Caregiver’s/Teacher’s and Other Staff Qualifications Additional Qualifications for Caregivers/Teachers Serving School-Age Children

Caregivers/teachers should demonstrate knowledge about and competence with the social and emotional needs and developmental tasks of five- to twelve-year old children, be able to recognize and appropriately manage difficult behaviors, and know how to implement a socially and cognitively enriching program that has been developed with input from parents/guardians. Issues that are significant within school-age programs include having a sense of community, bullying, sexuality, electronic media, and social networking.

With this age group as well, caregivers/teachers, in collaboration with parents/guardians, should seek professional consultation from the child’s primary care provider, a mental health professional, a child care health consultant, or an early childhood mental health consultant to help manage atypical or undesirable behaviors.

A school-age child develops a strong, secure sense of identity through positive experiences with adults and peers (1,2). An informal, enriching environment that encourages self-paced cultivation of interests and relationships promotes the self-worth of school-age children (1). Balancing free exploration with organized activities including homework assistance and tutoring among a group of children also supports healthy emotional and social development (1,3).

When children display behaviors that are unusual or difficult to manage, caregivers/teachers should work with parents/guardians to seek a remedy that allows the child to succeed in the child care setting, if possible (4).

The first resource for addressing behavior problems is the child’s primary care provider. School personnel, including professional serving school-based health clinics may also be able to provide valuable insights. Support from a mental health professional may be needed. If the child’s primary care provider cannot help or obtain help from a mental health professional, the caregiver/teacher and the family may need an early childhood mental health consultant to advise about appropriate management of the child. Local mental health agencies or pediatric departments of medical schools may offer help from child psychiatrists, psychologists, other mental health professionals skilled in the issues of early childhood, and pediatricians who have a subspecialty in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Local or area education agencies serving children with special health or developmental needs may be useful. State Title V (Children with Special Health Care Needs) may be contacted. All state Maternal Child Health (MCH) programs are required to have a toll-free number to link consumers to appropriate programs for children with special health care needs. The toll-free number listing is located at https://perfdata.hrsa
.gov/MCHB/MCHReports/search/program/prgsch16.asp. Dismissal from the program should be the last resort and only after consultation with the parent/guardian(s).
Center, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS General Qualifications of Directors Mixed Director/Teacher Role Differentiated Roles Qualifications of Lead Teachers and Teachers Qualifications for Assistant Teachers, Teacher Aides, and Volunteers Initial Orientation of All Staff Orientation for Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs Orientation Topics First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Staff Topics Covered in Pediatric First Aid Training Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Swimming and Water Play Continuing Education for Directors and Caregivers/Teachers in Centers and Large Family Child Care Homes Continuing Education for Small Family Child Care Home Caregivers/Teachers Training of Staff Who Handle Food Child Abuse and Neglect Education Training on Occupational Risk Related to Handling Body Fluids Education of Center Staff Training Time and Professional Development Leave Payment for Continuing Education Preventing Expulsions, Suspensions, and Other Limitations in Services
  1. Fiene, R. 2002. 13 indicators of quality child care: Research update. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
  2. Deschenes, S. N., A. Arbreton, P. M. Little, C. Herrera, J. B. Grossman, H. B. Weiss, D. Lee. 2010. Engaging older youth: Program and city-level strategies to support sustained participation in out-of-school time.
  3. New York State Department of Social Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension. 2004. A parent’s guide to child care for school-age children. National Network for Child Care. http://www
    . references
  4. Harvard Family Research Project. 2010. Family engagement as a systemic, sustained, and integrated strategy to promote student achievement.