Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.2 Policies

9.2.1 Overview Content of Policies

The facility should have policies to specify how the caregiver/teacher addresses the developmental functioning and individual or special health care needs of children of different ages and abilities who can be served by the facility, as well as other services and procedures. These policies should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Admissions criteria, enrollment procedures, and daily sign-in/sign-out policies, including authorized individuals for pick-up and allowing parent/guardian access whenever their child is in care;
  2. Inclusion of children with special health care needs;
  3. Nondiscrimination;
  4. Payment of fees, deposits, and refunds;
  5. Termination of enrollment and parent/guardian notification of termination;
  6. Supervision;
  7. Staffing, including caregivers/teachers, the use of volunteers, helpers, or substitute caregivers/teachers, and deployment of staff for different activities;
  8. A written comprehensive and coordinated planned program based on a statement of principles;
  9. Discipline;
  10. Methods and schedules for conferences or other methods of communication between parents/guardians and staff;
  11. Care of children and staff who are ill;
  12. Temporary exclusion for children and staff who are ill and alternative care for children who are ill;
  13. Health assessments and immunizations;
  14. Handling urgent medical care or threatening incidents;
  15. Medication administration;
  16. Use of child care health consultants and education and mental health consultants;
  17. Plan for health promotion and prevention (e.g., tracking routine child health care, health consultation, health education for children/staff/families, oral health, sun safety, safety surveillance, preventing obesity, etc.);
  18. Disasters, emergency plan and drills, evacuation plan, and alternative shelter arrangements;
  19. Security;
  20. Confidentiality of records;
  21. Transportation and field trips;
  22. Physical activity (both outdoors and when children are kept indoors), play areas, screen time, and outdoor play policy;
  23. Sleeping, safe sleep policy, areas used for sleeping/napping, sleep equipment, and bed linen;
  24. Sanitation and hygiene;
  25. Presence and care of any animals on the premises;
  26. Food and nutrition including food handling, human milk, feeding and food brought from home, as well as a daily schedule of meals and snacks;
  27. Evening and night care plan;
  28. Smoking, tobacco use, alcohol, prohibited substances, and firearms;
  29. Human resource management;
  30. Staff health;
  31. Maintenance of the facility and equipment;
  32. Preventing and reporting child abuse and neglect;
  33. Use of pesticides and other potentially toxic substances in or around the facility;
  34. Review and revision of policies, plans, and procedures.

The facility should have specific strategies for implementing each policy. For centers, all of these items should be written. Facility policies should vary according to the ages and abilities of the children enrolled to accommodate individual or special health care needs. Program planning should precede, not follow the enrollment and care of children at different developmental levels and abilities and with different health care needs. Policies, plans, and procedures should generally be reviewed annually or when any changes are made. A child care health consultant can be very helpful in developing and implementing model policies.

Neither plans nor policies affect quality unless the program has devised a way to implement the plan or policy. Children develop special health care needs and have developmental differences recognized while they are enrolled in child care (2). Effort should be made to facilitate accommodation as quickly as possible to minimize delay or interruption of care (1). For examples of policies see Model Child Care Health Policies at http://www.ecels-healthy Total.pdf and the California Childcare Health Program at http://www Nutrition and physical activity policies for child care developed by the NAP SACC Program, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina are available at http://www
Reader’s note: Chapter 9 includes many standards containing additional information on specific policies noted above.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Staff Familiarity with Facility Policies, Plans and Procedures
  1. Aronson, S. S., ed. 2002. Model child care health policies. 4th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
  2. Child Care Law Center. 2009. Questions and answers about the Americans with Disabilities Act: A quick reference for child care providers. Updated Version.
    ADA Q and A 2009 Final 3 09.pdf.