SAFE AND HEALTHY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION (ECE) VOLUNTARY STANDARDS
I would like to start a discussion related to early care and education (ECE) quality with the publication of Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB), the new voluntary health and safety standards published by the Administration for Children and Families last summer. This discussion should occur throughout the ECE field but not be limited to this arena because these new voluntary standards should be viewed by all parents of children in ECE programs and these same parents should be advocating for their adoption by all ECE programs. Grandparents should be involved in encouraging their children who have children in ECE programs because these CFOCB standards are a first step to establishing a caring environment that will be safe and healthy for children in out-of-home settings. Something that I am personally concerned about as a grandparent of three preschool and school age grandchildren. This is a discussion that needs to occur outside the USA as well because even though other countries have standards at a higher level with staffing and training, generally their health and safety standards can be lacking based upon recent research comparing standards between other countries and the USA.
CFOCB is based upon the latest research in the field which has accumulated over the past five decades and although the standards are very basic and do not necessarily ensure a high quality ECE program, the standards do establish a baseline to safe and healthy ECE which is a starting point.
For those interested readers, please go to the following website to see CFOCB: (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/caring-for-our-children-basics).
For those who want to find out more about the research that supports CFOCB, please go the following website: (https://rikinstitute.com/riki/).
I look forward to a continuing dialogue with interested individuals.
Rick Fiene, Research Psychologist
Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI)