Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 2: Program Activities for Healthy Development

2.3 Parent/Guardian Relationships

2.3.1 General Parent/Guardian Visits

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/28/2018

COVID-19 modification as of January 07, 2022.

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

Parents/guardians are welcome any time their child is in attendance. Caregivers/teachers should inform all parents/guardians that they may visit the site at any time when their child is there and that they will be asked to follow the facility’s sign-in procedures (see Standard and admitted without delay. This open-door policy should be part of the “admission agreement” or other contract between the parent/guardian and the facility and caregiver/teacher (1). Parents/guardians should be welcomed and encouraged to speak freely to staff about concerns and suggestions.

 Caregivers/teachers should not release a child to a parent/guardian who appears impaired. Caregivers/teachers should not attempt to handle an unstable (e.g., intoxicated) parent/guardian who wants to be admitted but whose behavior poses a risk to the children and adults in the facility. The director should contact local police or child protection agencies to help develop policies and procedures and to train caregivers/teachers.

To ensure the safety of the children and staff, all visitors, including authorized individuals and parents/guardians should check in with the facility staff every visit.

COVID-19 modification as of January 07, 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 childhood programs:

  • Limit non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas when there is moderate-to-high COVID-19 community transmission.
  • Develop procedures for parents and/or guardians to visit their children while maintaining prevention strategies.
  • Home-based ECE programs with people living in or visiting the home are required to wear a mask while in the same room as children in care, regardless of vaccination status. Visitors and home residents that are not engaged in the care of children should also keep as much physical distance as possible when children are present.

Refer to the COVID-19 modification in Standard Drop-Off and Pick-Up


COVID-19 Risk Reduction Strategies: Posters


When access is restricted, areas observable by the parents/guardians may not reflect the care the children actually receive. Strong relationships between families and early care and education staff can contribute to positive outcomes for children and families. Positive, mutually respectful, and collaborative relationships can enhance family engagement in early care and education programs, family well-being, and home–school connections. There is also some evidence that these relationships can have a positive effect on children’s school readiness (2).


Parents/guardians can be interviewed to see if the open-door policy is consistently implemented.


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 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. Child Care Aware of Missouri. What to look for. Accessed June 29, 2018

  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. Accessed June 26, 2018


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 8/28/2018

COVID-19 modification as of January 07, 2022.