Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.4 Records

9.4.1 Facility Records/Reports Availability of Documents to Parents/Guardians

In an easily available space that parents/guardians are made aware of and able to access, facilities should make available the following items:

  1. The facility’s license, child care regulations, or registration, which also includes information on how to file a complaint and the telephone number for filing complaints with the regulatory agency;
  2. A statement informing parents/guardians about how they may obtain a copy of the licensing or registration requirements from the regulatory agency;
  3. Inspection certificates;
  4. Reports of any legal sanctions and documentation that all required corrections have been completed;
  5. A notice that inspection reports/certificates, legal actions, and compliance letters are available for inspection in the facility;
  6. Accreditation certificates;
  7. Quality rating score, if applicable;
  8. Evacuation route;
  9. Emergency evacuation procedures, including fire evacuation and weather related evacuation procedures, to be posted in each room of the center;
  10. Procedures for the reporting of child abuse and neglect consistent with state law and local law enforcement and child protective service contacts;
  11. Notice announcing the “open-door policy” (parents/guardians may visit at any time and will be admitted without delay);
  12. The action the facility will take to handle a visitor’s request for access if the caregiver/teacher is concerned about the safety of the children;
  13. A current weekly menu of any food or beverage served in the facility to the children for parents/guardians and caregivers/teachers including changes in the menus as they are served; the facility should provide copies of menus to parents/guardians, if requested, and copies of menus served should be kept on file for six months;
  14. A statement of nondiscrimination for programs participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and for programs who receive Child Care Assistance Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds;
  15. Policy manual (health and safety policies, nutrition and oral health policies, etc.);
  16. A copy of the policy and procedures for discipline, including the prohibition of corporal punishment;
  17. Legible safety rules for the use of swimming and built-in wading pools if the facility has such pools (safety rules should be posted conspicuously on the pool enclosure);
  18. Phone numbers and instructions for contacting the fire department, police, emergency medical services, physicians, dentists, rescue and ambulance services, and the poison center, child abuse reporting hotline; the address of the facility; and directions to the facility from major routes north, south, east, and west (this information should be conspicuously posted adjacent to the telephone);
  19. A list of reportable infectious diseases as required by the state and local health authorities;
  20. Employee rights and safety standards as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and/or state agencies;
  21. Breastfeeding policy that includes information and guidance for mothers on how to store and transport human milk;
  22. A notice of what, where and when pesticides have been applied within or around the program’s property (this notice should be put up forty-eight hours in advance of any pesticide use);
  23. Reports of lead concentration and water quality.
Each local and/or state regulatory agency gives official permission to certain persons to operate child care programs by virtue of their compliance with regulations. Therefore, documents relating to investigations, inspections, and approval to operate should be made available to consumers, caregivers/teachers, concerned persons, and the community. Posting other documents listed in this standard increases access to parents/guardians over having the policies filed in a less accessible location.

Awareness of the child abuse and neglect reporting requirements and procedures is essential to the prevention of child abuse. State requirements may differ, but those for whom the reporting of child abuse and neglect is mandatory usually include child care personnel. Information on how to call and how to report should be readily available to parents/guardians and caregivers/teachers.

The open-door policy may be the single most important method for preventing maltreatment of children in child care (1). When access is restricted, areas observable by the parents/guardians may not reflect the care the children actually receive.

A roster helps parents/guardians see how facility responsibility is assigned and know which children receive care in their child’s group.

Primary caregiver assignments foster and channel meaningful communication between parents/guardians and caregivers/teachers.

Children are offered nutritious foods that help assure that children can meet the minimum daily requirements of nutrients. A child care facility is not responsible for the children receiving all of their nutrients. Parents/guardians need to know what food and beverages their children receive while in child care. Menus filed should reflect last-minute changes so that parents/guardians and any nutritionist/registered dietitian who reviews these documents can get an accurate picture of what was actually served. Food allergies should be posted for caregivers/teachers to view easily while still maintaining confidentiality from the public.

Parents/guardians and caregivers/teachers must have a common basis of understanding about what disciplinary measures are to be used to avoid conflict and promote consistency in approach between caregivers/teachers and parents/guardians. Corporal punishment may be physical abuse or become abusive very easily.

Parents/guardians have a right to see any reports and notices of any legal actions taken against the facility that have been sustained by the court. Since unfounded suits may be filed, knowledge of which could undermine parent/guardian confidence, only actions that result in corrections or judgment needs to be made accessible.

Pool safety requires reminders to users of pool rules. Making pool rules available serves as reminder that all pool rules must be strictly adhered to for the safety of the children.

In an emergency, phone numbers must be immediately accessible.

Compliance can be measured by asking for the location of documents and how accessible they are.

A sample telephone emergency list is provided in Healthy Young Children from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) at

When it is possible to translate documents into the native language of the parents/guardians of children in care, it increases the level of communication between facility and parents/guardians.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Supervision Near Bodies of Water Behavior Around a Pool Notification of the Facility About Infectious Disease or Other Problems by Parents/Guardians List of Excludable and Reportable Conditions for Parents/Guardians General Plan for Feeding Infants Responsive Feeding of Infants by a Consistent Caregiver/Teacher Preparing, Feeding, and Storing Human Milk Feeding Human Milk to Another Mother’s Child Preparing, Feeding, and Storing Infant Formula Use of Soy-Based Formula and Soy Milk Feeding Cow’s Milk Techniques for Bottle Feeding Warming Bottles and Infant Foods Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment Used for Bottle Feeding Introduction of Age-Appropriate Solid Foods to Infants Feeding Age-Appropriate Solid Foods to Infants Integrated Pest Management Pool Safety Rules Written Discipline Policies Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication Maintenance of Records Record of Valid License, Certificate, or Registration of Facility Maintenance and Display of Inspection Reports Written Plan/Record to Resolve Deficiencies Records of Nutrition Service Procedure for Receiving Complaints Whistle-Blower Protection under State Law
  1. Murph, J. R., S. D. Palmer, D. Glassy, eds. 2005. Health in child care: A manual for health professionals. 4th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.