Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 2: Program Activities for Healthy Development

2.3 Parent/Guardian Relationships

2.3.1 General Parent and Guardian Visits

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/28/2018 and 12/20/2022. 

COVID-19 modification as of October 10, 2022.

After reading the CFOC standard, see COVID-19 modification below (Also consult applicable state licensure and public health requirements).

Parents and guardians are welcome any time their child is attending the program. Caregivers and teachers should let all parents and guardians know this and inform visitors they will be asked to follow the program’s sign-in and sign-out procedures (see Standard This open-door policy should be part of the “admission agreement” or other contracts between the parent or guardian; the program; and the caregiver or teacher.1 Programs should welcome and encourage parents and guardians to watch and speak freely to staff about concerns and suggestions. It is the responsibility of the early childhood program to use the open-door policy.

Caregivers and teachers should not allow visits from parents, guardians, or other visitors who seem impaired (e.g., intoxicated) or whose behavior is a risk to the children and adults in the program (e.g., Individuals not allowed to pick up the child). The director should contact local police or child protection agencies to help develop policies and procedures and caregivers and teachers should be trained on how to handle these situations.

To make sure children and staff are safe, all visitors¾including authorized individuals and parents and guardians¾should follow the early care and education programs' check-in and check-out procedures.  

COVID-19 modification as of October 10, 2022:

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs, it is recommended that early care and education programs:

  • Consider limiting non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated, when there is moderate-to-high COVID-19 community transmission levels.


COVID-19 Risk Reduction Strategies: Posters


Strong relationships between families and childhood programs staff can contribute to positive outcomes for children and families. When programs limit access, the areas that parents and guardians can see may not reflect the care that children get. Positive, mutually respectful, and collaborative relationships can enhance family engagement in early care and education programs, and family well-being. These relationships can have a positive effect on a child’s success in school, including improvements in social skills and behavioral problems, and a child’s ability to adapt to situations.2

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Communication in Native Language Other Than English Parent/Guardian Conferences Seeking Parent/Guardian Input Support Services for Parents/Guardians Parent/Guardian Complaint Procedures Parents’/Guardians’ Provision of Information on Their Child’s Health and Behavior Drop-Off and Pick-Up Content of Policies Enrollment Information to Parents/Guardians and Caregivers/Teachers Written Plan and Training for Handling Urgent Medical or Threatening Incidents Sign-In/Sign-Out System
  1. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Child Care. Look, listen, and ask: choosing quality child care tip sheets. Web site. Accessed August 3, 2022 

  2. Porter T, Bromer J, Forry N. Assessing quality in family and provider/teacher relationships: using the Family and Provider Teacher Relationships Quality (FPTRQ) measures in conjunction with strengthening families and the Head Start parent, family and community engagement frameworks and their self-assessment tools. OPRE Report 2015-56. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2015


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/28/2018 and 12/20/2022. 

COVID-19 modification as of October 10, 2022.