Accreditation, Standards, Quality Care — What does all this mean?
When looking for a school for our daughter two years ago my husband fearlessly asked every question, looked up all the information he could find, made many phone calls, and even examined a few first aid kits. I know not everyone is like my husband. Personally, I was confused on what accreditations and licensing meant about our daughter’s care and education. How that actually applied at Living Springs Child Development Center (LSLC CDC).
After taking a tour at LSLC CDC and meeting some of the teachers, and staff, I learned LSLC CDC puts the children’s care and education first. LSLC CDC voluntarily has two outside sources review the school, and they also meets all SC laws and requirements. They don’t just go through a check list to meet high standards, they work hard to provide the best childcare possible. By doing this LSLC CDC meet all the standards required for quality care and education, and LSLC CDC surpasses a few too. I have collected a lot of the information on LSLC CDC’s accreditation and licensing, with links to these websites for more detailed information.
Lets start with the basics and work our way up.
What is required by law?
We meet all the requirements In order to legally operate in South Carolina, LSLC CDC must
maintain a valid license or registration. State laws have established the level to be mandated by South Carolina Department of Social Services(DSS). LSLC CDC is legally required to maintain a minimum level of regulations, but we choose to pursue a higher-than-required level standard of care.
- Licensing inspects child care facilities for compliance with laws and regulations, including inspections conducted by Fire and Health Safety Inspectors.
- Licensing conducts state and federal background checks on all staff members who work in regulated child care facilities. This includes checks of the Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect and the SLED Sex Offender Database on staff members who work in regulated facilities and Family, Friend and Neighbor providers enrolled in the SC Voucher Program.
- Licensing conducts at least two unannounced visits every year to assist child care providers in meeting all laws and regulations.
- Licensing investigates complaints against regulated facilities and those operating without a license or registration.
- Licensing helps providers access technical assistance, services, and grants to keep their license and to improve the quality of care.
- Licensing develops child care regulations in partnership with providers and parents.
knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests
Standard 7: Families
The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings.
Standard 8: Community Relationships
The program establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children’s communities to support the achievement of program goals.
Standard 9: Physical Environment
The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments
Standard 10: Leadership and Management
The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, and fiscal, and program management so all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences
Detailed list of NAEYC Standards
What is ABC Quality?
ABC Quality is a voluntary rating and improvement program that helps South Carolina parents find high quality child care.
Child care providers who opt to participate in ABC Quality must demonstrate that they meet, exceed or surpass basic child care standards. The program is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services.
The highest rating being an A+ and lowest C. LSLC CDC has an A+ rating.
- High standards for teacher education and certification
- Enhanced teaching and learning activities all day
- Individualized learning based on children’s abilities
- Expanded health and safety policies
- Family involvement opportunities
- A well equipped, organized setting with multiple learning centers
- A mix of indoor and outdoor learning environments
- Compliance with health and safety regulations
More Detailed Breakdown
Space, Furnishings and Activities
- Well lit, clean facilities
- Ample room for play
- Multiple accessible, age-appropriate activities
- Classroom learning centers supporting dramatic play, motor skills development, art, math, reading and more
- Varied activity schedule
Interactions and Relationships
- Small staff-to-child ratios
- Familiar, consistent caregivers
- Environment that supports exploration
- Staff that nurture emotional, social and cognitive development
- Trusted relationships between children and teachers and teachers and parents
Program Structure and Staffing
- Educated, well trained and experienced staff
- Effective, age-appropriate teaching techniques
- Efficient business operations
- Clear policies and program structure
- Pursuit of ABC Quality and national child care accreditation’s
- Structured opportunities for involvement
- Staff that are responsive to questions/parental feedback
- Ongoing, two-way communication
about child’s progress, activities, and home learning opportunities
Personal Care Routines
- Caregivers who are trained in health and sanitation
- Caregivers who practice proper routines and procedures daily
- Caregivers who work to prevent spread of germs and cross-contamination
- Caregivers who are CPR and first aid trained staff
More information about ABC Quality http://abcquality.org/parent-resources/