CA-ECE Standard. Generated 8/13/2022. ©2022 Council on Accreditation.
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education Definition

Purpose

Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.

Definition

Early Childhood Education programs serve families in need of high-quality child care in a centre-based setting. Programs promote healthy child development through relationship building and a variety of cognitive, physical, and social activities.
Note: Throughout this document, the term “teaching staff” is used to refer to individuals who work directly with children in the classroom, including teachers and assistant teachers. While organizations may use different terminology, the term “teacher” refers to the individual with primary responsibility for a group of children. Assistant teachers are directly supervised by teachers. When a standard was written for a specific position, the title is specified. The term “parent” is used to refer to the child’s caregiver at home, including biological parents, legal guardians, or extended family as applicable.

Note: Please see CA-ECE Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the ECE Crosswalk.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 1: Person-Centered Logic Model

A program logic model, or equivalent framework, identifies:
  1. needs the program will address;
  2. available human, financial, organizational, and community resources (i.e. inputs);
  3. program activities intended to bring about desired results;
  4. program outputs (i.e. the size and scope of services delivered);
  5. desired outcomes (i.e. the changes you expect to see in service recipients); and
  6. expected long-term impact on the organization, community, and/or system.
Examples: Please see the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide and COA’s PQI Tool Kit for more information on developing and using program logic models.

Examples: Information that may be used to inform the development of the program logic model includes, but is not limited to: 
  1. developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education; and
  2. child assessments and periodic reassessments.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.

Logic models have been implemented for all programs and the organization has identified at least two outcomes for all its programs.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • Logic models need improvement or clarification; or
  • Logic models are still under development for some of its programs, but are completed for all high-risk programs such as protective services, foster care, residential treatment, etc.; or
  • At least one client outcome has been identified for all of its programs; or
  • All but a few staff have been trained on use of therapeutic interventions and training is scheduled for the rest; or
  • With few exceptions the policy on prohibited interventions is understood by staff, or the written policy needs minor clarification.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Logic models need significant improvement; or
  • Logic models are still under development for a majority of programs; or
  • A logic model has not been developed for one or more high-risk programs; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for one or more programs; or
  • Several staff have not been trained on the use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • There are gaps in monitoring of therapeutic interventions, as required; or
  • There is no process for identifying risks associated with use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • Policy on prohibited interventions does not include at least one of the required elements.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Logic models have not been developed or implemented; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for any programs; or
  • There is no written policy or procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions; or 
  • Procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation on therapeutic interventions is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • There is evidence that clients have been harmed by inappropriate or unmonitored use of therapeutic interventions.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • See program description completed during intake
  • Program logic model that includes a list of outcomes being measured
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of children.

Interpretation

Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
  • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or 
  • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or 
  • With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
  • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
  • With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
  • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or 
  • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
  • Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or 
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of program personnel that includes:
    • Title
    • Name
    • Employee, volunteer, or independent contractor
    • Degree or other qualifications
    • Time in current position
  • See organizational chart submitted during application
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required training and/or competencies and training hours
  • Training curricula
  • Documentation of professional development opportunities and resources from the previous 12 months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

 

CA-ECE 2.01

Teachers have, or are actively working towards:
  1. an appropriate credential;
  2. an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development; or
  3. a bachelor’s degree in a related field with two years of post-graduate experience in early childhood education.
Examples: Related fields include elementary education, special education, psychology, family consumer sciences, home economics, social work, and social services.

 

CA-ECE 2.02

Assistant teachers:
  1. are at least 18 years of age;
  2. have a high school diploma or GED; and
  3. carry out classroom activities under the direct supervision of an appropriately qualified teacher.

 

CA-ECE 2.03

The program director is qualified by:
  1. a bachelor’s degree in a related field with two years of post-graduate experience in early childhood education; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field with five years of post-graduate experience in early childhood education.
Examples: Related fields include early childhood education, child development, elementary education, early childhood special education, psychology, family consumer sciences, home economics, social work, program administration, and social services.

 

CA-ECE 2.04

Teaching staff remain up-to-date on current practices in early childhood education, and:
  1. pre-service training prepares teachers to perform their role and they are never expected to perform a task or provide a level of care that they have not been properly trained to handle; and
  2. teaching staff receive at least 24 training hours per year.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 2.05

Teaching staff are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, meeting the health, safety, and nutritional needs of children including:
  1. food preparation, storage, and service;
  2. hand-washing and diapering procedures, if applicable, including how to properly use and dispose of gloves;
  3. safe sleep practices including SIDS prevention procedures, if applicable;
  4. sanitation and proper handling and storage of disinfectants; and
  5. policies and procedures regarding contagious and infectious disease prevention.

 

CA-ECE 2.06

Teaching staff are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. communicating openly and working respectfully with families;
  2. implementing the chosen curriculum;
  3. supporting a child’s positive relationships with his or her peers;
  4. positive guidance techniques of behaviour management;
  5. classroom activities appropriate to children of different developmental levels;
  6. recognizing developmental differences between children;
  7. varying beliefs, customs, values, and child rearing practices of the different cultural groups represented by the children in their care; 
  8. screening and/or assessment tools;
  9. observation and documentation;
  10. effective classroom management; and
  11. teaching strategies for working with young children.
Examples: Teaching strategies include:
  1. techniques for keeping children engaged and motivated;
  2. methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies and the comprehension of the child;
  3. methods for working with small or large groups;
  4. teacher-directed and child-directed instruction;
  5. how to choose activities and materials;
  6. how to break down tasks into manageable components; and
  7. how to organize instruction to achieve developmental milestones.

 

CA-ECE 2.07

Teaching staff who are responsible for working with children with special needs are qualified and trained to meet the specific needs of children in their care and parents, consultants, and other professionals are brought in when activities go beyond the capacities of staff.

Interpretation

Appropriate qualifications and training will vary given the needs of the children in care. It can include a combination of education, training, and experience.
Examples: Consultants and other professionals can include medical providers and other specialists as needed.

 

CA-ECE 2.08

Supervisors provide ongoing support and guidance through mentoring, coaching, and classroom observation and feedback.

 

CA-ECE 2.09

Professional development opportunities and resources are provided on at least a quarterly basis and include:
  1. group meetings for joint problem-solving and mutual support;
  2. information sharing on child development and parent-child relationships;
  3. opportunities for teaching staff to plan together; and
  4. regular in-service training.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 3: Enrollment

The organization responds to requests for care promptly and responsively.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Enrollment procedures
  • Child file access policy
  • Child file access procedures
  • Parent handbook and other informational materials provided upon enrollment
  • List of community-based providers and/or resource and referral networks
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe how files are stored

 

CA-ECE 3.01

Prior to enrollment, parents are offered a tour of the facility and receive information regarding:
  1. the organization’s approach to education, child development, and behaviour management;
  2. policies and procedures;
  3. classroom rules and expectations;
  4. opportunities and expectations for parental participation;
  5. applicable child protection reporting mandates;
  6. established mechanisms for parents to report safety concerns or suspected child abuse and neglect; and
  7. whether or not there is space currently available.

 

CA-ECE 3.02

Prompt, responsive enrollment practices:
  1. support timely initiation of care; and
  2. provide placement on a waiting list, if desired, or referral to the local child care resource and referral network or a similar resource when families cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.03

The organization maintains a file for each child that is:
  1. specific, factual, and legible;
  2. updated at least annually;
  3. signed and dated by parents/guardians and authorized personnel, where appropriate; and
  4. maintained and disposed of in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality.
Examples: Files and signatures can be paper, electronic, or a combination of paper and electronic.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.04

Files contain information necessary to provide care, including:
  1. identifying information, including name and date of birth;
  2. address;
  3. emergency contact information;
  4. written parental authorization for emergency care including names of the hospital to be used;
  5. authorizations for pick-up;
  6. verification of up-to-date preventative screenings and immunizations;
  7. relevant health information and needs, including physician name, allergy information, and medication permission forms;
  8. information and consent/authorization forms related to special needs, if applicable; and
  9. additional forms or documentation, as needed.
Examples: Additional forms or documentation can include accident report forms, payment receipts, permission or consent forms, attendance sheets, and evidence of ongoing communication with family members.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.05

Access to confidential child files is limited to:
  1. the child’s parents or legal guardians or designated legal representatives;
  2. personnel authorized to access specific information on a “need-to-know” basis; and
  3. auditors, contractors, and licensing or accrediting personnel, consistent with the organization’s confidentiality policy.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 4: Parental Involvement and Support

Parents are active participants and partners and receive the support and information needed to promote healthy child development.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Samples of classroom information provided to parents from the previous six months
  • Parent/teacher conference schedule for the previous 12 months
  • Samples of information on child-rearing responsibilities available to parents
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe systems/tools for daily communication with parents

 

CA-ECE 4.01

Parents have access to daily schedules and other classroom information including a menu if meals are provided.
Examples: The organization may use classroom bulletin boards, newsletters, a webpage, or email to provide parents with consistent access to classroom information.

 

CA-ECE 4.02

Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the program.
Examples: Active involvement in the program can include participation in classroom activities as an aid or volunteer, parent education meetings, parent advisory boards, regular parent meetings, or sitting on the organization’s governing body. Having an open-door policy is one effective method for encouraging parents to visit the program, meet with their child’s teacher, and participate in daily activities or special events.

 

CA-ECE 4.03

Parents are helped to understand and be actively involved in their child’s development and education through:
  1. participation in decisions affecting their child;
  2. daily updates and two-way communication of information regarding activities, accomplishments, or concerns;
  3. parent-teacher conferences that are held biannually, or more often as needed, given the child’s progress;
  4. assistance with recognizing developmental, health, or behavioural issues that may require additional services or support; and
  5. visits to the program.
Examples: Services and supports for meeting health needs can include hearing and vision screenings, resources for immunizations and well-baby check-ups, and the provincial and local health department.

 

CA-ECE 4.04

Teaching staff discuss cultural values and beliefs with parents and:
  1. adjust caregiving practices, daily routines, and classroom activities as appropriate and in accordance with developmentally-appropriate practice; 
  2. approach differing points of view respectfully and in an empathetic manner; and 
  3. involve their supervisor as needed to discuss how parental preferences can be appropriately and safely incorporated into the child care setting.
Examples: Providing culturally responsive care that reflects the care provided at home can be comforting to the child. Daily routines that may be adjusted based on a family’s belief system include potty training, feeding, and napping.

 

CA-ECE 4.05

Information is available to help parents cope with child-rearing responsibilities.
Examples: Information provided may vary based on the needs and interests of parents and can include topics such as:
  1. child development;
  2. child health issues;
  3. transition to school; and
  4. nutrition.

Information can be provided through:
  1. pamphlets;
  2. brochures;
  3. relevant publications;
  4. newsletters;
  5. bulletin boards;
  6. seminars;
  7. parent support groups;
  8. referrals to outside providers; or
  9. other programs or media appropriate to the size and capacity of the program.

 

CA-ECE 4.06

The organization is flexible and responsive to the changing needs and unique circumstances of families served.
Examples: Changing needs or unique circumstances can include job loss, military deployment, the birth of a sibling, a death in the family, serious and/or chronic health conditions, family violence, or divorce.

Examples of how an organization can demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness include:
  1. adjusting coverage schedules to accommodate changing child care needs;
  2. providing flexible care on an hourly or daily basis;
  3. referring families to local resources; and
  4. incorporating activities into the daily schedule to help children cope with stressors.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 5: Health and Safety

The organization promotes and protects the health and safety of children and staff.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for reporting, responding to and recording health problems and accidents
  • Classroom cleaning and sanitation procedures
  • Diaper changing procedures
  • Hand washing procedures
  • Child abuse and neglect reporting procedures
  • Procedures for notifying teachers of children with medical needs in their care
  • Bottle handling procedures
  • Infant sleep procedures
  • Smoking policy
  • Procedure for staying up-to-date on product recalls
  • Health policy/procedures provided to parents
  • Menus for meals and snacks for the previous six months
  • Copies of daily schedules from each classroom indicating time for active play
  • Evidence of collaboration with a medical provider
  • Documentation of professional installation, maintenance, and annual inspection of playground equipment from the previous 12 months
  • Documentation of monthly playground maintenance inspections for the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review personnel files for:
    1. documentation of health screening
    2. CPR and First Aid certification
  • Review children's health records
  • Observe facility


 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.01

All parents receive a written health policy and procedures that address:
  1. the process for determining whether or not the organization can handle a child’s specific health needs;
  2. attendance guidelines for sick children including separation from other children; and
  3. procedures for notifying parents that their child may have been exposed to an infectious disease.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.02

Child health problems and accidents, including changes in appearance or behaviour, are promptly recorded and reported to parents and administration, and follow-up is conducted as needed.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.03

Procedures for regularly cleaning and sanitizing the classroom limit the spread of infection and include:
  1. daily cleaning of the facility;
  2. disinfecting bedding, beds, cots, cribs, and mats at least once a week and between use by different children;
  3. disinfecting toys and other materials at least weekly and immediately after use if items are placed in the child’s mouth; and
  4. the availability of properly labeled disinfectants, which are securely stored away from children at all times.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.04

To limit the spread of infection, diaper changing areas:
  1. are separate from food preparation areas;
  2. have a posted copy of diaper changing procedures;
  3. utilize changing tables made of non-porous material; and
  4. include covered, plastic-lined, hands-free cans for the disposal of used diapers.
NA The organization does not provide care to children in diapers.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.05

Diapering procedures meet nationally recognized guidelines for sanitary diapering practices, and include:
  1. that children are never to be left unattended on changing tables and that one hand must be on the child at all times;
  2. proper disposal of diapers and other contaminated items;
  3. proper use of gloves when they are offered to teaching staff;
  4. steps for gathering materials ahead of time;
  5. relevant hand-washing requirements; and
  6. steps for disinfecting the area after each use.
NA The organization does not provide care to children in diapers.
Examples: The 2nd Edition of Caring for Our Children, which is a joint partnership of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care, offers detailed diaper changing procedures that organizations may find useful when developing their own diapering practices.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.06

Hand washing areas are designed to promote safety and limit the spread of infection including:
  1. separating hand-washing sinks from food preparation sinks;
  2. installing shatter-proof mirrors;
  3. making hand washing sinks easily accessible to all children; and 
  4. having liquid soap and sanitary methods for drying off hands available.
Examples: Sanitary methods for drying off hands include disposable paper towels or electric dryers that turn on and off automatically.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.07

Hand washing procedures meet nationally recognized guidelines for hand washing and include:
  1. under what situations hands must be washed;
  2. requirements for water temperature, soap use, and time spent scrubbing and rinsing; and
  3. procedures for turning off water that reduce the risk of recontamination.
Examples: The 2nd Edition of Caring for Our Children, which is a joint partnership of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care, has hand washing procedures that organizations may find useful when developing their own hand washing practices

 

CA-ECE 5.08

Teaching staff promote good health habits by:
  1. modelling and providing developmentally-appropriate instruction on health and hygiene practices;
  2. serving nutritious meals and snacks; and
  3. providing opportunities for active play.
Examples: Health and hygiene practices include, but are not limited to:
  1. washing hands before and after eating;
  2. washing hands after using the bathroom;
  3. covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing; and
  4. regular tooth brushing.

Examples: Active play for infants may include “tummy time,” allowing infants to develop the muscles of their back and neck.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.09

Teaching staff:
  1. follow universal precautions;
  2. identify and report suspected child abuse and neglect to prescribed authorities;
  3. are informed about children in their care with special medical needs or allergies; and
  4. are healthy and capable of performing the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation.

Interpretation

While an annual physical examination is preferred, teaching staff may receive a general health screening performed by a qualified medical practitioner, provided the screening addresses communicable diseases.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.10

There is at least one person on duty and available at all times the program is in operation, including on field trips away from the program site, that has completed training in basic first aid and age-appropriate CPR in the previous two years that included an in-person, hands-on CPR skills assessment conducted by a certified CPR instructor.

 

CA-ECE 5.11

A health facility or qualified medical professional is available to provide:
  1. medical consultation to the organization and parents;
  2. a review of children’s health needs; and
  3. a review of the organization’s health and safety practices.

Interpretation

The intent of this standard is not to require that organizations pay for this service, but to ensure they have access to medical professionals as needed.
Examples: Organizations may ensure access to medical professionals by having medical professionals on staff or by developing formal or informal relationships with medical professionals outside the organization to receive assistance when special health needs arise.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.12

Bottles of breast milk and formula are:
  1. labeled with the child’s full name and the date that it was brought in;
  2. brought in daily and stored in a refrigerator upon arrival;
  3. discarded if the bottle is not finished in one feeding; 
  4. warmed in water and never in a microwave oven; and
  5. sent home at the end of the day so thawed breast milk and mixed formula are never stored overnight by the centre.
NA The organization does not provide infant care.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.13

Teaching staff take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths, including:
  1. placing infants on their backs for sleep unless otherwise instructed by the child’s doctor;
  2. placing infants on a firm sleep surface such as a safety-approved crib mattress with fitted sheet;
  3. never allowing children to sleep in a device meant for sitting such as a carseat, bouncer, or swing;
  4. removing soft materials or objects such as pillows, loose bedding, bumper pads, or toys from sleep areas;
  5. ensuring sleep spaces are free of strangulation hazards such as dangling cords, electric wires, and window-covering cords; and
  6. dressing infants appropriately for the environment.
NA The organization does not provide infant care.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.14

A safe environment is maintained through proper selection and maintenance of play equipment, including:
  1. indoor and outdoor playground equipment that meets national safety standards;
  2. installing equipment on an appropriate amount of impact absorbing surfaces in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and/or industry practice;
  3. conducting daily inspections of playground equipment and the surrounding area to immediately identify potentially hazardous conditions;
  4. monthly inspections of playground equipment to identify signs of wear or damage using a standardized checklist and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions; and
  5. annual inspections and necessary maintenance of the play equipment by industry professionals.
Examples: Potentially hazardous conditions include standing water, broken glass, or damage to the play equipment. Signs of wear or damage include worn or damaged wood, bolts, chains, anchors, or insufficient amount of impact absorbing surfaces under equipment.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.15

Stairwells have railings and are closed off from child care classrooms.
NA None of the organization's ECE facilities have stairwells.

 

CA-ECE 5.16

The facility provides an optimal care and learning environment that is:
  1. clean;
  2. welcoming;
  3. well lit, with natural light where possible and emergency lighting throughout;
  4. maintained at a safe, comfortable temperature and noise level;
  5. odour free; and
  6. adequately ventilated.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.17

Smoking is prohibited anywhere on the premises, including outside entrances, outdoor play areas and program vehicles.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 5.18

The organization:
  1. ensures equipment, toys, and materials are child-proof, non-toxic, and maintained in good repair; and
  2. is aware of and responsive to any product recalls affecting equipment, toys, and materials.
Examples: The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides web-based access to a list of product recalls.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 6: Classroom Environment

Child care is provided in an enriched, interactive environment that is well-suited to meeting the developmental needs of children.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Policy governing the use of infant cribs, walkers, jumpers, and swings
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Observe facility

 

CA-ECE 6.01

The environment supports positive development and education by providing:
  1. dedicated spaces, separated by low barriers, to accommodate a range of developmentally-appropriate activities including group and individual play, and active and quiet play;
  2. an organized classroom that allows for safe movement throughout the space;
  3. flexible space that is easily updated to meet changing skills and interests of the group;
  4. sturdy, appropriate furniture designed to accommodate the age range of children in the classroom and appropriately installed, when applicable, to prevent tipping;
  5. furniture that allows for adults to comfortably hold children, where appropriate; and
  6. individual places for children to store their belongings.
Examples: Appropriate furniture can include consideration of the furniture’s size, weight, durability, construction, and material. For example, chairs should be short enough that children can sit in them without having to climb, risking injury from the chair tipping.

 

CA-ECE 6.02

The physical facilities, buildings, and grounds of child care centres include:
  1. 7 square metres of outdoor space per child, based on the number of children outside at one time;
  2. outdoor areas enclosed by fences;
  3. outdoor areas and equipment that support a variety of play activities such as climbing, group activities, building, and exploring the natural environment;
  4. outdoor play areas that have shade;
  5. 3 square metres of unencumbered indoor space per child;
  6. separate lavatories customized for adults and children;
  7. drinking water available at all times and in all indoor and outdoor play spaces;
  8. quiet and private indoor areas for parents and staff; and
  9. a reception area where all visitors must sign-in and out.

Interpretation

Child care programs located in urban areas with limited outdoor space can accommodate children’s needs for both active and outdoor play by offering larger indoor spaces such as gyms for active play and by taking children to local parks. Additionally a child’s need for outdoor space will vary given his or her age and mobility level. For example, a group of infants would require less square metres of outdoor space than a group of 3-year-olds.

Interpretation

Unencumbered indoor space is defined as usable activity space for children. Closed storage areas, indoor space reserved for staff, reception areas, etc. should not be included when determining the amount of unencumbered indoor space available.
Examples: Quiet and private indoor areas can include areas for parents to breast or bottle feed their children, space for staff to take breaks away from the children, office space, and private areas for parent interviews.

 

CA-ECE 6.03

Toys and other materials are chosen:
  1. based on the ages, abilities, and interests of children;
  2. to sustain interest and support emerging skills;
  3. to reflect differences in gender, ethnicity, cultural background, age, and special needs without promoting stereotypical images; and
  4. to stimulate development in curriculum content areas.
Examples: Books, toys, and room décor are some of the ways that diversity can be incorporated into the classroom. 

Examples: The exact toys and materials selected for the classroom will vary based on the above criteria. 

Examples of age-appropriate materials for infant classrooms include:
  1. comfortable carpet or stiff blanket;
  2. shatter-proof mirrors;
  3. balls;
  4. washable plush toys;
  5. toys that make noise when shaken or squeezed;
  6. chunky toys that the child can look at, reach for, clutch, and mouth;
  7. board books;
  8. a method for playing music; and
  9. toys that allow for manipulation such as turning or inserting.
Examples of age-appropriate materials for toddler classrooms include:
  1. art materials appropriate to their developmental level, including large crayons, markers, and large paper;
  2. containers that can be filled and emptied, including household items such as measuring cups or unbreakable bowls;
  3. sturdy picture books;
  4. a method for playing music;
  5. items that can be pushed, pulled, or ridden; and
  6. sensory objects such as sand, dough, and water.
Examples of age-appropriate materials for pre-school classrooms include:
  1. blocks;
  2. books;
  3. writing materials;
  4. math related games or toys such as items to be counted;
  5. a method for playing music;
  6. age-appropriate instruments;
  7. items for scientific investigation such as a magnifying glass;
  8. items to be used in imaginary play such as props or costumes; and
  9. sensory play items such as modelling clay, sand, or water.
Note: See CA-ECE 8.01 and CA-ECE 8.04 for more information on how toys should be chosen based on curriculum content and ongoing assessments.

 

CA-ECE 6.04

Toys and other materials are arranged in a logical way that:
  1. allows children access without help; and
  2. encourages appropriate use while still allowing for creativity and exploration.
Examples: Storing crayons with other art supplies, blank paper, and coloring books rather than on the shelf next to books meant for reading can encourage children to use crayons for their intended purpose and discourage writing in books.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 6.05

The least restrictive environment for infants is chosen at all times including:
  1. using cribs only for sleeping;
  2. limiting the use of infant swings, jumpers, and bouncers; and
  3. prohibiting infant walkers.
NA The organization does not provide infant care.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 7: Promoting Quality Relationships with Teaching Staff and Peers

Children experience meaningful, responsive, and stable relationships with teaching staff and peers.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Behaviour management policy
  • Behaviour management procedures
  • Policy for prohibited interventions
  • Staffing list that identifies lead and assistant teachers, when applicable, for each classroom
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Observe interactions:
    1. Teacher/child
    2. Peer/peer
    3. Teacher/teacher
    4. Group
  • Review child files for behaviour management plans

 

CA-ECE 7.01

Each child has a meaningful, ongoing relationship with a primary caregiver.

 

CA-ECE 7.02

Teaching staff facilitate the development of secure attachments by providing each child with care that is:
  1. responsive to their individual and changing needs, interests, and abilities;
  2. flexible in meeting their eating, toileting, and sleeping needs;
  3. consistent; and
  4. predictable.
Examples: Responsive care can include, but is not limited to:
  1. evaluating and adjusting routines, interactions, activities, or materials to meet the individual and changing needs, interests, and abilities of the children in care;
  2. responding promptly and appropriately to children’s needs; and
  3. providing opportunities for child-directed activities and conversations.

 

CA-ECE 7.03

Teaching staff establish meaningful relationships with each child by:
  1. demonstrating affection, attention, and respect;
  2. interacting frequently in a positive and expressive manner;
  3. engaging in extended conversations that are both child and teacher initiated; and
  4. responding with interest to his or her questions or requests.
Examples: Positive interactions can be demonstrated through:
  1. pleasant tone of voice;
  2. use of the child’s name;
  3. use of positive language;
  4. speaking with children at their eye-level;
  5. eye contact;
  6. smiling;
  7. offering praise and encouragement; and
  8. making positive physical contact when acceptable to the child, such as hugging, holding a child’s hand, and offering comforting touch.

 

CA-ECE 7.04

Each infant receives individualized, ongoing care from one person, or a consistent team, who:
  1. imitates and responds positively to the infant’s vocalizations;
  2. understands and respects the infant’s sleeping and eating habits;
  3. recognizes the infant’s various cries and promptly responds;
  4. provides reassurance, physical care, regular affection, and tactile and vocal stimulation;
  5. gives one-on-one attention during caregiving routines such as rocking, feeding, or changing; and
  6. offers consistent repetition of daily routines, allowing for some variety and contrast.
NA The organization does not provide infant care.

 

CA-ECE 7.05

Teaching staff promote the development of positive self-identity by:
  1. providing opportunities for children to care for and make decisions regarding their classroom, and contribute to the group;
  2. welcoming children and their families to the program each day;
  3. encouraging exploration and celebrating achievements; and
  4. involving the child in communication with the family whenever possible.

 

CA-ECE 7.06

Teaching staff act as role models and promote social development and positive peer relationships by:
  1. supporting children in the development of friendships and other forms of positive group interaction;
  2. providing opportunities to learn and practice pro-social behaviours, including negotiation, problem solving, conflict resolution and communication skills;
  3. helping children to enter into, sustain, and enhance play;
  4. protecting children from teasing and bullying;
  5. serving meals “family-style;” and
  6. using everyday activities to foster the development of social skills.
Examples: Social development among infants can be promoted by:
  1. recognizing when an infant is interested in interacting with other infants and facilitating that behaviour; and
  2. talking during routine, one-on-one activities such as diapering and feeding.

 

CA-ECE 7.07

Teaching staff support positive behaviour by:
  1. building on children’s strengths and reinforcing positive behaviours;
  2. encouraging the child’s ability to self-regulate and accept responsibility for their behaviour;
  3. responding consistently to behavioural issues;
  4. providing engaging activities throughout the day;
  5. re-directing children to encourage self-calming and de-escalate volatile situations;
  6. providing sufficient support during daily transitions; and
  7. modelling positive, pro-social behaviour by interacting with fellow staff, children, and families in a positive, respectful manner.
Examples: Re-directing children can involve engaging the child in an individual activity away from the group and having a developmentally-appropriate discussion about emotional self-regulation techniques and conflict resolution skills.
Note: See CA-ECE 8.10 for more information on promoting emotional self-regulation within the curriculum.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 7.08

Negative approaches to behaviour management are prohibited including, but not limited to:
  1. corporal punishment;
  2. interventions that involve withholding nutrition or hydration, or that inflict physical or psychological pain;
  3. isolation and locked seclusion;
  4. ignoring the child;
  5. group punishment or discipline for individual behaviour;
  6. labeling a child “good” or “bad;”
  7. the use of demeaning, shaming, threatening, or degrading language, tone, volume, or activities;
  8. physical restraint, except in response to age-appropriate, but potentially dangerous behaviour, such as when a child runs into the street; and
  9. punitive use of timeouts.

 

CA-ECE 7.09

When children with persistent behavioural issues are enrolled in the program, teachers work with parents to:
  1. identify triggers to negative behaviours;
  2. identify de-escalation strategies or interventions that have worked well in the past;
  3. develop and implement an individualized plan to support the child’s success; and
  4. seek mental health consultation as needed.
Note: See CA-ECE 9 for more information on serving children with unique behavioural needs that may require additional screenings or services.

 

CA-ECE 7.10

Program changes are made with sensitivity to each child’s need for stability and consistent relationships.
Examples: Program changes can include decisions around grouping, staffing, and scheduling, which could impact a child’s day-to-day routines and established relationships.

Organizations can demonstrate that the needs of children in the program have been considered by instituting changes slowly, over-time; notifying children and their families of upcoming changes in advance; and taking the time to answer questions regarding the purpose of the change.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 8: Developmental and Educational Activities

A variety of activities and lessons promote social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Curriculum for each age group
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Policy for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Procedures for the use of technology in the classroom
  • Sample daily activity plans for each age group from the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe interactions:
    1. Teacher/child
    2. Peer/peer
    3. Group

 

CA-ECE 8.01

The program implements a curriculum that:
  1. guides the provision of daily activities and the selection of classroom materials; and
  2. acts as the foundation for ongoing, purposeful assessment of children’s progress.

 

CA-ECE 8.02

The curriculum:
  1. is developmentally appropriate and reflects what is known about child development and learning;
  2. is adaptable to the strengths, interests, family situation, interpersonal characteristics, and needs of each individual child within the group setting; 
  3. is culturally appropriate and reflective of the social and cultural backgrounds of each child in the group;
  4. promotes social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development; and
  5. fosters and supports the attitudes and skills needed for learning.
Examples: Attitudes and skills that support learning can include:
  1. the ability to make decisions;
  2. a willingness to try new things;
  3. taking the time to finish what one starts;
  4. curiosity and a willingness to ask questions;
  5. creativity; and
  6. the capacity to become fully engaged in an activity.

 

CA-ECE 8.03

Ongoing assessments are culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate and take into account:
  1. individualized developmental and educational goals;
  2. variations in learning and development; and
  3. input from parents, regarding their child’s behaviour and development at home.

 

CA-ECE 8.04

Results of assessments:
  1. are communicated to parents; and
  2. inform the selection of daily activities and classroom materials.

 

CA-ECE 8.05

A wide variety of developmentally-appropriate activities are provided including:
  1. both large- and small-group activities as appropriate to the age range of children in the group;
  2. independent activity;
  3. daily opportunities for active and quiet play, nap time, and conversation;
  4. daily opportunities for both teacher- and child-directed activities;
  5. opportunities to meet developmental milestones through play;
  6. daily indoor and outdoor activities, when safety permits; and
  7. access, either in the classroom or in the community, to resources such as libraries, museums, and recreational, educational, and cultural sites or events.

 

CA-ECE 8.06

Activities and lessons reflect a multi-cultural society to promote cultural awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

 

CA-ECE 8.07

To support cognitive development, classroom activities:
  1. offer choice;
  2. provide opportunities to question, experiment, and explore;
  3. are appropriate to the developmental level of children in the classroom;
  4. provide new challenges and reinforce already acquired skills;
  5. reflect a variety of educational techniques including play;
  6. encourage the child’s sense of mastery of new skills and experiences; and
  7. incorporate curriculum content areas including literacy, math, science, social studies, health and nutrition, and the arts.
Examples: Teaching staff can promote the development of literacy skills in infants and toddlers through:
  1. interactive reading, such as asking questions, reading with expression, and naming objects or people on the pages;
  2. making board books available in the classroom;
  3. rhyming;
  4. providing opportunities for children to use writing utensils; and
  5. singing.
In pre-school classrooms, the recognition of print can be emphasized by:
  1. labeling items in the classroom;
  2. using dictation, where the teacher writes down what the child is saying;
  3. using print to describe daily routines or rules the child is familiar with;
  4. making developmentally-appropriate books available in the classroom; and
  5. providing ample opportunities to recognize and write letters.
Examples: Math content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. exposure to different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns through objects in their environment; and 
  2. mathematical concepts that can be expressed non-verbally such as “more or less” or “big and small.”
Math content in pre-school classrooms can include:
  1. opportunities to gain familiarity with numbers, shapes, and patterns;
  2. opportunities for children to categorize items by size, color, shape, and pattern;
  3. recognition of numbers and their meaning; and
  4. use of mathematical terms in their daily life.
Examples: Science content for infants and toddlers can include:
  1. opportunities to explore their senses;
  2. exploration of cause and effect; and
  3. opportunities to explore their capacity to affect or change their environment.
Science content in pre-school classrooms can include opportunities to:
  1. explore the differences between living and non-living things;
  2. observe the life cycle;
  3. learn about the earth;
  4. observe and learn from the weather and their environment;
  5. explore cause and effect;
  6. use simple tools, such as a magnifying glass, to observe objects; and
  7. practice different methods of documentation such as drawing pictures.
Examples: Social studies content can include discussion, materials, and activities that explore concepts such as:
  1. diversity;
  2. varying definitions of family;
  3. the environment and environmental responsibility;
  4. fairness;
  5. friendship; and
  6. the local community.
Examples: Teaching staff can facilitate exploration of the visual and performing arts by:
  1. offering a variety of developmentally-appropriate art supplies;
  2. teaching new skills or ways to use art supplies;
  3. playing music in the classroom;
  4. displaying children’s art in the classroom;
  5. exposing children to professional artists;
  6. displaying art at children’s eye-level;
  7. singing songs;
  8. playing instruments; and
  9. engaging in imaginative play.

 

CA-ECE 8.08

Language development is promoted by:
  1. regularly engaging children in dialogue and encouraging children to engage in conversations with others;
  2. rephrasing children's ideas in complete sentences;
  3. minimizing “baby talk;”
  4. introducing new words and concepts;
  5. asking open-ended questions;
  6. talking to children about familiar items or activities;
  7. offering alternative communication options for children who are non-verbal; and
  8. responding to vocalizations and attempts at language.

 

CA-ECE 8.09

Activities and materials that promote physical development:
  1. include the development of both fine and gross muscle control; and
  2. foster a variety of skills including balance, strength, and coordination.
Examples: Activities for infants can include:
  1. changing position;
  2. discovering hands and feet;
  3. spending time on their stomach; and
  4. pushing, grabbing, kicking, and mouthing.
Activities for older infants and young toddlers can include:
  1. crawling;
  2. walking with assistance; or
  3. holding and using writing utensils, paint brushes, or other materials that assist in the development of fine motor skills.
In pre-school children, fine motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. writing;
  2. drawing;
  3. puzzles;
  4. painting;
  5. working with clay; and
  6. working with manipulatives.
In pre-school children, gross motor skills are developed through activities such as:
  1. throwing;
  2. climbing;
  3. kicking;
  4. running; and
  5. skipping.

 

CA-ECE 8.10

Teaching staff recognize opportunities for children to learn and practice emotional self-regulation including:
  1. encouraging exploration of the senses;
  2. mentoring and practicing skills; and
  3. helping children to identify and appropriately express their emotions.

 

CA-ECE 8.11

Use of passive and interactive technology is limited, targeted, and purposeful, and:
  1. supportive of the child’s educational and developmental goals;
  2. tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage;
  3. monitored by staff at all times; and
  4. never used for children under the age of two.
NA The program does not use television, video, and computer equipment.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 9: Caring for Children with Special Needs

The organization considers additional communication, activity, and staffing needs to promote optimal inclusion and development of children with special needs.
Examples: Special needs include medical, developmental, social, emotional, and behavioural needs.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Community resource and referral list for specialized services and supports
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents of children with special needs
  • Review child files

 

CA-ECE 9.01

Parents of children with special needs receive assistance obtaining and coordinating specialized supports necessary to enroll and keep their child in care.

Interpretation

The amount and type of assistance provided will vary based on the resources available at the organization.
Examples: Parents may need assistance obtaining suitable transportation, managing logistics, and coordinating services with other providers such as specialized screenings, assessments, and treatments.

 

CA-ECE 9.02

A team approach that involves parents, service providers, and teaching staff is used in service planning, care provision, and transition planning.

 

CA-ECE 9.03

Teaching staff and administrators promote the child’s inclusion in activities with other children.

Interpretation

Whenever the child is attending the program, intervention services and special medical services provided on-site should be integrated, to the greatest extent possible, into the ongoing activities of the group to promote inclusion.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 10: Child Supervision

Close supervision ensures child safety and improves service quality.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for child pick-up
  • Procedures for documenting attendance
  • Procedures for covering staff breaks and other situations that require a teaching staff person to leave the classroom for five minutes or more
  • Documentation of group size and ratios in each classroom for the previous month
  • Staffing chart for the previous month
  • Informational materials describing the organization's philosophy/approach to mixing age groups, when applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Observe facility
  • Observe arrival and pick-up times

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 10.01

Each child is supervised to ensure:
  1. departure is with a person who has been approved in writing by his or her parents;
  2. absences are documented;
  3. off-site whereabouts while under the supervision of the organization are known and documented; and
  4. departure is not allowed with someone who poses a safety risk and staff follow procedures for using relevant organizational or community resources to intervene as needed.
Examples: Individuals who pose a safety risk can include those who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and those who are mentally or physically unstable.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 10.02

The child care centre maintains teacher-child ratios and group sizes at all times both on- and off-site that:
  1. do not exceed COA’s Recommended Teacher-Child Ratios and Group Sizes
  2. take into consideration changes in supervision needs based on activities being conducted; and
  3. take into consideration the needs of the children in the group.

Interpretation

Plans should be in place to maintain ratios whenever a teacher leaves the room for longer than five minutes, including when staff:
  1. works individually with a child who is ill, requires separation from the group, needs special supervision or care, or has an emergency;
  2. takes a break; or
  3. leaves the room to retrieve supplies.
Examples: Lower ratios may be warranted based on the special physical, social, or developmental needs of children within the group, the risks associated with a particular activity, and the qualifications and competencies of the teachers to ensure that children’s needs are being met.

 

CA-ECE 10.03

When mixing age groups, the organization ensures:
  1. the developmental needs of all children can be met;
  2. teachers are skilled in programming for mixed-aged groupings; and
  3. the group’s teacher-child ratio is tailored with consideration given to the age of the youngest children in the group.

Interpretation

Mixing age groups means placing children whose ages span two years or more in the same classroom. For example, mixed-age classrooms could include grouping infants (ages birth to 12 months) in the same classroom as toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years) or grouping toddlers with preschool children (ages 3 to 5 years).
NA The organization does not offer mixed-age groupings.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 10.04

Teaching staff maintain constant supervision of the children in their care by both sight and sound.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 10.05

Indoor and outdoor facilities are arranged to ensure constant child supervision, including:
  1. convenient storage of items needed for napping, feeding, diapering, and administrative tasks;
  2. low barriers between designated spaces to maintain constant visibility of the entire room;
  3. convex mirrors installed wherever they are needed; and
  4. visibility of the classroom by more than one adult.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 11: Transition

Teaching staff work with parents and children to plan for orderly transitions.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for transitioning to another classroom or age group
  • Procedures for transitioning to another school or program
  • Sample letters or other materials provided to parents whose children are transitioning to another classroom or age group or transitioning out of the program
  • Policy and procedures for removing a child from care provided to parents upon enrollment
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe:
    1. arrival and pick-up times
    2. transitions in the classroom

 

CA-ECE 11.01

Parents and children receive assistance with managing transitions between the home and the child care setting.
Examples: Implementation of this standard can include helping the parent or child cope with daily drop-offs and/or departures, and being sensitive to parents or children who are struggling with the idea of using out-of-home care for the first time.

 

CA-ECE 11.02

Teaching staff promote smooth transitions throughout the day by ensuring:
  1. transitions are well-planned;
  2. children receive advance notice; and
  3. activities are long enough to promote sustained play.

 

CA-ECE 11.03

When the child needs to transition to another classroom or age group within the organization, the current teacher:
  1. engages parents in a discussion of the child’s developmental needs and the reason for the transition;
  2. provides parents with general information on the transition process;
  3. arranges opportunities for the child to visit the new classroom and meet teaching staff and peers prior to the transition; and
  4. shares information with the new teacher.

 

CA-ECE 11.04

When the child needs to transition to school or another organization, teaching staff:
  1. engage parents in a discussion of the child’s developmental needs and most suitable options;
  2. provide parents with general information on transitioning from the program;
  3. share information with other providers with the parents’ consent; and
  4. notify collaborating service providers that the child has transitioned from the program with the parents’ consent.

 

CA-ECE 11.05

The organization has a systematic process for removing children from care when it can no longer meet a family’s needs including referring families to local resources such as child care resource and referral.
Examples: Reasons why an organization may no longer be able to meet the needs of the family include non-payment, when special needs arise that the organization can’t meet with reasonable accommodation, or a change in work schedules that the organization cannot accommodate.
 
2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 12: Oversight of Family Child Care Homes

The organization provides oversight and support to family child care homes to ensure care is being provided in a safe environment that promotes healthy child development.
NA The organization does not utilize family child care homes to expand its capacity to provide care.
Note: This standard is intended only to review the oversight and support provided to family child care homes by a child care facility that utilizes family child care homes to expand its capacity to provide care. Completion of these standards by a child care center will not result in accreditation of the individual homes and cannot speak to the quality of the care being provided within them.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Family child care recruitment procedures
  • Screening criteria for family child care homes
  • Matching procedures for family child care homes
  • Job description for family child care coordinator role
  • Documentation of monthly home visits for the previous six months
  • Curricula of any training offered to family child care personnel
  • Documentation of licensure for family child care homes
  • Documentation of caregiver credentials and completed training hours for family child care providers
  • List of current family child care homes withratios noted (e.g. Family Child Care Homes Reporting Tool)
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel record for Family Child Care Coordinator

 

CA-ECE 12.01

Family child care coordinators are qualified by:
  1. an appropriate credential;
  2. an associate’s degree in early childhood education or child development; or
  3. a bachelor’s degree in a related field with two years of post-graduate experience in early childhood education.
Examples: Related fields include elementary education, special education, psychology, family consumer sciences, home economics, social work, and social services.

 

CA-ECE 12.02

Family child care coordinators:
  1. recruit and assess family child care homes prior to their use;
  2. provide support and supervision through a monthly home visit;
  3. offer training and professional development opportunities; and
  4. monitor the quality of care being provided.

 

CA-ECE 12.03

The organization utilizes family child care homes staffed by individuals with:
  1. a GED or high school diploma;
  2. at least 45 hours of family child care-related training within the last three years; and
  3. access to ongoing training and education.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 12.04

Prior to use, all family child care homes are screened to ensure they are fully licensed or approved, according to applicable regulatory requirements.

 

CA-ECE 12.05

The needs of the child and family are matched with a care provider to ensure suitable, family-based care.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 12.06

The organization is aware of available spaces at each child care home and only refers families when it is determined that the resulting teacher-child ratios:
  1. will not exceed COA’s Recommended Teacher-Child Ratios and Group Sizes;
  2. take into consideration changes in supervision needs based on activities being conducted; and
  3. take into consideration the needs of the children in the group.
Examples: Lower ratios may be warranted based on the special physical, social, or developmental needs of children within the group, the risks associated with a particular activity, and the qualifications and competencies of the teachers to ensure that children’s needs are being met.
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