Snack as a Center Choice

Preschool children need time during the day for group times, free choice play activities, snacks and/or meals, rest time, and outdoor play in order to support their development and learning.  Designing a schedule to ensure enough time for all these activities can be like putting a puzzle together with too many pieces.  Not everything fits.  This is especially true for part-day programs.  In an effort to maximize the time for each scheduled routine or learning activity, teachers will sometimes offer snack as a center choice during free play.

As we transition to using the ECERS-3, here are some things to consider for those programs who decide to offer snack as a choice during self-selected free play:

  • Sometimes part day programs do not offer snack because teachers feel children eat before and after preschool. Keep in mind that all children must be offered a meal or snack every two and not more than 3 hours.  Children’s appetites and interests in foods vary.  By offering a nutritious meal or snack every 2-3 hours, it will ensure children get enough calories for the day.  A snack or meal must be observed during the 3-hour time sample.  Meals and snacks must meet CACFP requirements (Child and Adult Care Food Program) even if a center does not participate in the program.
  • The option for choosing whether to eat snack should only be offered to older preschoolers. Younger preschoolers must have a snack or a meal.
  • Offering snack at center time as an optional activity to older preschoolers does take then away from play activities. Some children will choose to play rather than eat even though their bodies may need nourishment. If snack is offered as a choice to older preschoolers, staff must encourage children to participate.  This means that children not only hear about snack, but also see what is being offered.  Children may decide they are hungry after all when they see an appetizing snack.
  • Teachers need to participate in snack even though it is offered as a choice. Even older preschoolers may need assistance with portion control, serving themselves, and clean-up procedures.   When teachers are actively involved with children during snack, they can engage children in conversations that will enhance their language development.   Providers also need to remember to clean/sanitize each place at the table between uses.
  • The ECERS-3 requires one-hour for free choice time during a three-hour time sample with only a two-minute grace period. Teachers must be cognizant of the average time all children spent eating snack and extend free play, if needed, by that amount of time to compensate for it.

New CACFP guidelines (effective 10-1-17)

https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_MealBP.pdf

Reference:  Harms, T., Clifford, R. and D. Cryer (2015).  Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (third edition).  New York: Teachers College Press.

 

kristenc

kristenc

Kris Corrigan is an Environment Rating Scale Assessor with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She has been in her current position for three years. She enjoys meeting and working with providers who are committed to providing quality environments for the children in their care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family including her four cats.

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Answering All of Your Environment Rating Scale Questions

Well, probably not all of them…

As we begin a new year of trainings, it seems like the perfect time to review some of the more general guidelines regarding the Environment Rating Scale Trainings and Assessments. Below are questions we receive most often.

When will the ITERS-3 be out? Is there a FCCERS-3?

The ITERS-3 (Infant/ Toddler Environment Rating Scale, 3rd edition) is currently available to purchase. It was published July 2017. Right now there is not a FCCERS-3, but we assume the authors are working on this next.

When will ITERS-3 assessments begin? 

The process for implementing ITERS-3 will be similar to ECERS-3. The ERS Assessors and ERS Training Coordinator will be trained to reliability by the Environment Rating Scale Institute, curriculum will be developed, ERS Instructors and CCR&R consultants will be trained, and then ITERS-3 trainings will be offered to providers. After ITERS-3 trainings have been offered for a certain amount of time, we will start offering programs the choice of ITERS-R or ITERS-3. This is a fairly lengthy process. The goal is to offer ITERS-3 trainings in fiscal year 19. Be looking for more information on ITERS-3 later this year.

Is there an All About ECERS-3?

The authors and their team are currently working on the development of the All About ECERS-3. The authors create the All About books based on information and questions received from the field using the tool.

If a program chooses to be assessed on the ECERS-3, what scale should 2 year old rooms use? 

Programs may now choose to use the ECERS-3 for assessments. If a program chooses to be assessed on the ECERS-3, 2 year old rooms will be assessed on the ITERS-R. If programs are still using the ECERS-R, the majority rule applies for 2 year old rooms. If the majority of children are older than 30 months, ECERS-R will be used. If the majority of children in the 2 year old room are younger than 30 months, the ITERS-R will be used.

How can a program prepare for an assessment? 

  • Take an ERS class. If it has been a number of years since taking an ERS class, we encourage providers to retake the class; especially if the scale has been revised.
  • Work with a CCR&R consultant
  • Work jointly with a colleague and/or consultant for accurate self-assessment of interactions and language.
  • Create an improvement plan.
  • Review the “Ready, Set, Go” brochure and video:

How many assessments are completed in a center-based program? How do programs know which rooms will be assessed?

For center-based programs (Child Care Centers, public preschools, Head Start, etc.) at least 1/3 of the total classrooms or groups of children (i.e. sessions, classes) must be observed and at least one group per scale (ITERS, ECERS, SACERS) as applicable to the program.  For example, a child care center with 10 rooms, infants through school-age, will have 4 assessments: one ITERS room , one ECERS room, and one SACERS room. The fourth assessment will be selected from the remaining classrooms. If the program is preschool only, with 5 sessions, at least two of those sessions will be chosen. This means, a teacher may be observed twice if they have multiple sessions (i.e. a Monday-Wednesday afternoon group and a Tuesday-Thursday  morning group).

All classrooms or groups are selected at random on the day of the observation. If the program operates different days and times, the assessor will randomly select the class to observe ahead of time. The program will only be informed of the date and time of the assessor’s arrival, and not the actual class.

How long is the wait for an assessment?

Assessors strive to have all assessments scheduled within 90 days of the request. Depending on the time of the year, an assessor might be able to schedule a program with one week. During the busiest times of the year, programs may have to wait 1-2 months. Assessors are typically busiest April through May and October through November.

How long does it take to receive the assessment feedback reports?

Feedback reports must be sent to programs within 30 days; however assessors strive to have all feedback reports to programs within 2-3 weeks. Every assessment report goes through a review process to ensure feedback is accurate and thorough.

What ERS classes will be offered online for fiscal year 18?

  • FCCERS-R in October
  • ITERS-R in November
  • SACERS in January
  • ECERS-3 in February
  • The fifth online ERS class will be offered in April. The scale chosen will be based upon greatest need.

Phew! You made it through and you may still have questions. As always, please, do not hesitate to ask!

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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ECERS-3 Announcement!

As some of you may have heard already, programs may request an ECERS-3 beginning July 1, 2017. Programs will have a choice between an ECERS-3 or ECERS-R assessment starting July 1, 2017 until the new QRS rolls out (at least 6 months). Once the new QRS begins, all programs with children ages 3-5 years will receive an assessment on the ECERS-3.

ECERS-3 self-assessment forms and program improvement forms will not be available on the QRS web site, yet. We are working on making these two forms into one form, eliminating the duplication between forms. Once the new form is finalized, it will be located on the QRS forms web page (approximately June). If you have a program wanting to continue working on their self-assessment form or program improvement form after completing the ECERS-3 class or in preparation for an ECERS-3 assessment, we will have the two form version available to those who ask. All ERS instructors have access to the ECERS-3 self-assessment and program improvement forms (CyBox) and can send you a copy, as needed.

Lastly, we often have programs debating on whether to go through an assessment or not, unsure if they will “pass”. We want the assessment process to be a learning experience for programs. A way for programs to receive some helpful, outside feedback, and continually grow and improve in ways that will benefit the program, teachers, and children as well as the families and community. A program will have a better experience if they approach an assessment as a learning experience, rather than as a test or pass/ fail. How do you approach programs that are debating on whether or not to have an assessment? Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement you often use?

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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FCCERS-R Online in November!

Do you have a family child care provider looking for a FCCERS-R class but not wanting to travel or find someone to watch their children in the evenings. There is a FCCERS-R Online course is being offered November 15, 22, 29, and December 6th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.!

fccers_r_cover

Here is some of the feedback we are receiving about the online ERS courses:

“Very good information, glad I participated in this class to improve myself and my child care environment.”

“Thank you! The online set up was very much appreciated!”

“It’s almost like one-on-one learning. I like being able to ask questions as you go along.”

“It was nice to sit at home and not go anywhere.”

“I was great not having to travel! All of the instructors were very helpful and responsive, very high marks on customer service.”

 

Below are a few reminders about the online ERS courses offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Online courses are similar to face-to-face courses:

  • 8-hours
  • Out-of-class activities
  • Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales, scoring and practice using the tool

Participants must participate in polls and chat, submit the out-of-class activities, and attend all four sessions to receive the final certificate of completion.

Participants for an online course will have:

  • some basics understanding of technology
  • experience uploading and downloading documents
  • familiar with Microsoft WORD, and Adobe PDF
  • positive attitude about online course and a willingness to try new things

Computer Requirements:

  • Good internet connection for live session- hardwiring is recommended
  • Mobile devices, like phones or tablets are NOT recommended
  • Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox web browser
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader
    • Must have in order to correctly fill out and submit out-of-class activities
  • Flash Player installed and can view videos

 

Providers can sign up for the online course on the Iowa Child Care Provider Training Registry.

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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Resource: Tips for Tots!

stock-photo-helpful-tips-on-blue-busines-1088609A colleague recently shared these great tip sheets with me from the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership, a program of Advanced Behavioral Health. Many of these tip sheets would be very beneficial when working with programs and making improvement goals. Each tip sheet has a “did you know” section giving the “why” behind and concept and is followed up with a strategies section full of ideas on how to implement a concept into the classroom, for example a quiet space or smooth transitions.

Check out Tips for Tots!

Do you have any resources you often use with programs? If so, share them in the comments or send them my way and I’ll share them through the ERS blog.

 

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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Yesterday was…Today is…Tomorrow will be…Calendar Time – The Best Use of Their Time?

 

We often observe large group time and when children are engaged and the group time is kept short, it can be an important part of the day.  It is a time when children gain a sense of belonging to the classroom community and have an opportunity to talk about important events in their lives.  Calendar activities are often part of these large group gatherings.  Many times we see teachers pose questions to children that draw blank stares, such as “yesterday was…. today is …. and tomorrow will be…..”

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale doesn’t specifically address “calendar time”, but it does address developmentally appropriate ways to teach math concepts and addresses child engagement and individual needs during group times.  If concepts are not developmentally appropriate and too abstract, children will become disengaged and problems may arise.

Still, many preschool teachers will argue that calendar time is the time when they introduce important math concepts such as counting, one-to-one correspondence and basic patterning.  And, these math concepts are important to introduce to preschoolers. But is whole-group calendar time the best time and best way to introduce developmentally appropriate math concepts?  Here are some alternatives suggested in the articles listed in the resource section and from ideas I have observed in the field:

Hands-on Materials: Young children need many opportunities to explore concepts such as patterning and counting using real materials.  This can be handled most effectively in small groups or at center time with adults who are available to guide their learning.

Daily Opportunities: Many opportunities exist throughout the day to teach math concepts.  For example, counting while children wash their hands or looking for patterns in the environment during outdoor play.  These experiences help children understand the value math plays in their everyday lives.

Use a Picture Schedule: Young children may not be able to judge how much time there is between events, but they can begin to understand the sequence of events (snack comes after circle time). Some programs I have observed use a picture schedule instead of a calendar to talk about the events of the day or use it as a teachable moment when children want to know when it will be time to go outside.

Photos or Classroom Displays: I have observed teachers using project displays to talk about the progression of events in a study or to talk about past special events. Other teachers use picture journals or photo albums as a way of recording and revisiting past events.

Linear representations: Linear representations can help children begin to understand the concept of a day and the passage of time.  Some teachers record the events of the week on a blank piece of poster paper. They draw a square for each day and a picture that represents what occurred during that day.  Houses are drawn on stay-at-home days.  Teachers can then use the picture in the boxes to discuss events that happened yesterday in a way that is meaningful to children.

What are your thoughts about whole-group calendar time?  What alternatives do you see programs using instead of the traditional calendar time?  What alternatives do you suggest to programs instead of the traditional calendar time?

Resources:

 http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/CalendarTime.pdf

https://www2.teachingstrategies.com/blog/44-before-after-later-and-next-using-a-calendar-in-a-preschool-classroom

kristenc

kristenc

Kris Corrigan is an Environment Rating Scale Assessor with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She has been in her current position for three years. She enjoys meeting and working with providers who are committed to providing quality environments for the children in their care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family including her four cats.

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Diversity Discussions

 

I recently observed in a family child care program and had an interesting discussion with the provider about diversity.  When asked about any activities that help children understand diversity, the provider stated that diversity is hard for her, because she just doesn’t “see color.”

I appreciate her response, as she was honest, and I commend her for her commitment to seeing children as children, not a certain race or ethnicity.  However, as much as I can appreciate her commitment, the phrase, “I don’t see color,” is not exactly true.  We do see physical characteristics-we notice if someone has blue eyes or brown, we take note when someone is tall or wears glasses, and we notice if someone is using a cane to get around or if their hair is brown, grey, white, or pink.ThinkstockPhotos-478104457

Noticing these differences does not make us racist or insensitive, it makes us human.  Our goal with children is not to teach them to not see differences, but to teach them to respect and appreciate differences.  We don’t have to repeatedly point out a child’s skin tone or ethnicity, but it’s certainly ok to acknowledge differences in children and celebrate those differences.

Generally, when I ask about activities that promote diversity, teachers and providers respond by stating they have dolls, books, and play food representing different races/cultures/ethnicities/abilities.  That’s great, but dolls alone just don’t provide the type of activity that really helps children understand and respect diversity.

Diversity isn’t just skin tone, either.  What about culture?  We all have different cultures, even within our individual families.  For example, Susie might celebrate her birthday with dinner at a nice restaurant with her parents and siblings.  Henry might celebrate with a large party at his house, including extended family, friends, and neighbors.  Susie and Henry both celebrate birthdays, but in different ways-differences in their family culture.  Discussing birthday or other celebrations, and having children draw what their family does, or making a chart tallying what is the same and different about their celebrations is an example of an activity that helps children understand diversity.

I often hear providers and teachers say that they struggle to discuss diversity with infants and toddlers.  It’s true, a lot of activities that are out there don’t work for that age group.  I like to encourage people to incorporate diversity into their language with children.  We want providers/teachers to use many different descriptive words throughout the day to build children’s vocabulary and language skills, so why not dedicate some of that language to diversity?  “Molly you have such big, brown eyes!  And Kevin, you have bright, blue eyes!  Our eyes help us see.  Where are your eyes?  Can you blink?”  or “Shawn’s mommy brought him to school today.  Claire, your daddy brought you.  Isn’t it nice to spend time with mommy’s and daddy’s?  Let’s look at our family pictures.  Shawn, your mom has brown hair.  Claire, your dad has no hair.  Where is your hair?”

What are some ways you encourage providers and teachers to incorporate diversity?  Do you find it difficult or are most people eager to help children understand diversity?

Jamie Signature

Jamie

Jamie

Jamie has worked with young children and their families for over 15 years. She is dedicated to ensuring that all young children receive high quality care and education.

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The Challenge in Providing Quality School-Age Programming

 

School-Age child care providers often face unique challenges.  During the school year, children can be in care for a very short period of time making it difficult to plan for them, many times programs have to share space with other programs requiring some to set-up and take down each day, staff may have to work long hours starting early in the morning and ending later in the evening, and school-age child care staff may find that classroom teachers won’t make the time and effort to communicate with them about the needs of children in their care. Having said that, though, quality school-age programs can excite children about learning, provide time to socialize with their friends, give them an opportunity to explore their own interests, help them learn new skills, provide them with needed exercise, and offer caring staff who will listen to them and help them deal with issues at home or in school.  In short, quality school-age programs can be the highlight of a child’s day!

Although the School-Age Environment Rating Scale (updated version) is the least used of all the Environment Rating Scales in Iowa, over a three-year period I have seen enough programs to come to some generalizations about areas where program typically lose points at the good level of quality.  I would like to share this information with those who would like or need more information about the SACERS-U in the event you work with a program preparing for an assessment or a program that wants to improve the care they provide school-age children.

  • Materials should be age and developmentally appropriate.  There are some materials such as blocks or some art materials that are appropriate for both school-age and preschool groups.  But if a program shares space with a preschool, there should be materials appropriate for the ages of the children in the school-age group.  For example, some primary age children will enjoy picture books, but others may enjoy chapter books like Junie B. Jones or the Magic Tree House series. A solution some programs have found is to have materials on carts that they bring out during the program day. More suggestions for appropriate materials can be found in specific activity items on the SACERS-U scale.  Materials should be accessible for at least 30 minutes in a typical after-school program of three hours or more.
  • A considerable amount of softness must also be accessible to the children and appropriate for their size.  A small vinyl preschool chair or a blanket and a few pillow on a hard floor is not enough for a school-age child to escape the hardness of a typical classroom.  But a couch in the music or listening area and bean bag chairs and several large pillow in the reading area would meet this requirement.  It is also important to remember that many soft furnishings must be accessible for at least one third of the time they are in care, at the good level of quality.
  • Two items address child-size seating.  I am reminded of Goldilocks when I observe some school-agers in various seating arrangements.  Sometimes it’s just not quite right.  Programs that share space may have adult-size tables and chairs or preschool-sized seating arrangements.  At the good level of quality, 75 percent of the tables and chairs must be child-size (feet touch the floor, sit waist high at the table, with legs resting comfortably under the table).
  • Interactions are as important as materials and furnishings.  Sometimes school-age providers want to give children enough time to relax, play and visit with their friends.  This is certainly important, and it is important that the school-age child care program not replicate the school day.  However, providers do have the opportunity to complement the school day.  Staff can encourage children to use reading, writing and math in practical situations as children pursue their own interests.  This practice helps children see that what they are learning in school applies to everyday situations.  We must observe this if credit is to be given.  Staff should also engage children in meaningful conversations – there should be several turns for the children and staff to talk.  Open-ended questions (why or how) that require longer and more complex answers should also be asked.
  • A variety of gross motor activities must be provided that stimulate a variety of skills. At the good level of quality, there must be five different skills made possible by stationary equipment and five different skills made possible by portable equipment.  Also, keep in mind that outdoor play activities should occur daily, weather permitting.  Surfacing in and around equipment requiring cushioning must also be adequate.

 

What challenges do you find school-age providers encounter?  How do you help them overcome these challenges?

 

Resources:

Harms, T., Jacobs, H. & Romano, D. (2014) School-Age Environment Rating Scale (updated).  New York: Teachers College Press.

http://ersi.info/PDF/playground_revised_10-3-13.pdf

http://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/Files/HCCI/weatherwatch.pdf

 

 

kristenc

kristenc

Kris Corrigan is an Environment Rating Scale Assessor with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She has been in her current position for three years. She enjoys meeting and working with providers who are committed to providing quality environments for the children in their care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family including her four cats.

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What About 3-D Art?

REMINDER: Please do not share the following blog post or URL. This is a private blog with the intentions for you to share experiences and to receive further clarification and information related to the Environment Rating Scales.

The Environment Rating Scales mention three dimensional art in two items throughout the scales: display and art. Within theses items, the scales look for materials to encourage 3-D art creations and for 3-D art to be displayed in the classroom.

Three dimensional art has height, width, and depth. This type of artwork can be looked at from many different sides and angles. Three dimensional art gives children the opportunity to experiment with shapes and space and create art similar to how they see the world. “Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through three-dimensional art” (HighScope).

It’s more than pasting something on a piece of paper or painting a pre-made figurine. Materials for 3-D art encourage children to build up, and out. Examples include: clay, playdough, paper towel tubes, Styrofoam pieces, straws, craft sticks, and egg crates. Check out some examples of three dimensional art created by children.

3D_straws_bing 3D shells_bing 3D pipecleaners_bing 3D pipecleaners and foam_bing 3D clay and sticks_bing

 

 

 

 

 

Children often spend lots of time and put great effort into their 3D creations. How can their creations be displayed and prevent them from being damaged? Some programs may have a shelf or counter set aside just for this purpose. Other programs, the teacher may need to tap into her imagination and resources. It’s not like we can laminate 3-dimentions pieces and place them on the wall or back of shelves. Besides the top of shelves or countertops, some programs have used windowsills or ledges. If possible, some projects could be hung from the ceiling. One program was really creative and attached fruit baskets to the wall so children could display their clay creatures. What are some other ways you have seen programs display three dimensional art creations?

3D_display_lab school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Arts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2016, from http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=295

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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Can Providers Use Pack-n-Plays/ Play Yards for Nap?

If you look at the additional notes for the safety practices item in the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R), it lists as an example of a safety hazard “a mesh playpen with collapsible sides” (p. 30)*. So, what are they referring to here? Does this include ALL pack-n-plays or play yards?

play yard_bing_share and useCaring For Our Children states all cribs should meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. For non-full size cirbs/ play yards this standard is F406-10b. Collapsible cribs are only a safety hazard if the sides no long lock securely, if the model does not meet ASTM standards, or if the crib is no longer in good condition (holes in the mesh sides, missing parts, etc.). It is also important to note, these cribs/ play yards should only be used for their intended purpose and with the original fitted mattress.

In 2013, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ruled for more strict and thorough testing of play yards. Play yards made after February 28, 2013 are held to a much stronger standard. A safety approved crib/ play yard is one that has been certified by ASTM, CPSC, and/or Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If looking for a crib, JPMA is a common certification you will see. JPMA is based on ASTM standards but also includes federal and state requirements as well as requirements from retailers; thus adhering to the highest level of product testing. It is important for providers to keep the manufacturers information (make, model, and certifications) for each crib in their early childhood program.

Check out these great one page CPSC handouts describing the updated requirements of play yards and crib safety as well as Safe Sleep for Babies.

 

*Harms, T., Cryer, D. & Clifford, R. (2007). Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition. New York, NY: Teacher’s College Press.

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa’s Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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