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Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

  • 1.  Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-19-2020 05:41 PM
    Hello Everyone,

    We have submitted our paperwork and are now in our 6 month window for a potential visit. We did have some questions about items in the classroom observations. Due to Covid and suggestions from our county health officials, our dramatic play areas have been closed due to the inability to properly sanitize the clothes on a daily basis. As there is a big section of the class observation of seeing culturally diverse dramatic play, etc how is this being handled? Are there now items that will be rated N/A that do not have that option shown on the current tool? Should we set it up again just before the visit and proceed as we would during non-Covid times? Any advice or information from those who have gone through it during this different and constantly evolving situation would be appreciated.


    Thanks,
    Rebecca Mayfield

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    Rebecca Mayfield
    Pre-K Teacher
    Sequoia Children's Center
    Redwood City CA
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  • 2.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-21-2020 07:01 AM
    Can you not have dramatic/culturally representative play without fabric Dress Up props? Props that represent different cultures do not have to be just clothing, but play foods. pictures representing those foods, work tools, etc. things that can be sanitized, by the spray bottles, each day. The imagination of a child does not require many props. A stick, stones, blocks can be many things in the mind of a child when they are allowed to cross play, take an item from one 'center' to another.

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    Regina Curtis
    Millersville MD
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  • 3.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-21-2020 10:40 AM
    We do have culturally representative food toys and some photos we have laminated now to help make it easily sanitized, but was not sure if this is considered enough to satisfy the requirement. We normally allow the cross play and greatly encourage it in normal time but due to our Covid restrictions, we cannot have that happening as the children must remain in their "squares" and the toys must be sanitized between uses and sit for at least 10 minutes before being used and due to the smaller amounts of toys available this just isn't possible at the time. Thank you for your ideas.

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    Rebecca Mayfield
    Pre-K Teacher
    Sequoia Children's Center
    Redwood City CA
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  • 4.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-22-2020 01:42 PM
    In my classroom we use only open ended loose parts materials in that area. Wooden blocks, large beads, ribbons, lace, even nature materials like pine cones and acorns. I have individual boxes for each child so when it is their turn they grab their own box, no need to sanitize or wait in between. Along with the loose parts there are plates, utensils, and other open ended items. I find this can satisfy the diversity because those pcs can be anything!

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    Loyann Worster
    Teacher
    Veazie Community School
    Bangor ME
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  • 5.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-21-2020 04:19 PM
    Hello Rebecca -- As you probably know, program accreditation site visits had to halt in March due to the pandemic, and they resumed in September. Over the summer the Early Learning Program accreditation staff developed some additional guidance related to assessing some items in the covid environment; you can find that on our website (https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/accreditation/early-learning/covid-related_assessment_item_guidance.pdf). These guidance changes mostly address program portfolio items. In terms of class observations, we do note that we will be carefully evaluating sanitation practices in classrooms -- handwashing, cleaning of tables, and retrieving toys that have been mouthed.
    We did not write specific additional guidance for the situation you describe, in which equipment out in your classrooms has been limited so you can best maintain sanitary practices. However, we have discussed this with our assessors, and they understand that classrooms may look different at this time. That said, it has always been true that we do not expect all materials to be out at all times. Assessors not only observe what is visible, but with your permission they open closets and cupboards to view additional equipment not currently out. They rate based upon all they see.
    We absolutely do not want you to alter your classroom set-up before your site visit! You have made careful and reasoned choices about how to mitigate the health risks you face in these times, and that must remain in place for as long as you judge it is needed. We wish you and all programs the best in your quality improvement journey, and in your ongoing care for families and children at this tough time.

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    Susan Hedges
    Director, Quality Assessment and Assurance
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
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  • 6.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-21-2020 04:29 PM
    Thank you so much Susan!  That really helped to clarify the questions we had and was very helpful!

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    Rebecca Mayfield
    Pre-K Teacher
    Sequoia Children's Center
    Redwood City CA
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  • 7.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-22-2020 10:42 AM
    I hope you will be able to answer a question I have regarding portfolios.  It is my understanding that we have two options.  One is to create a universal portfolio that would be applicable for all classrooms and develop individual portfolios for each age group focusing on specifics for that classroom.  The other option is to create a portfolio for each classroom that would be all inclusive and policies, procedures, and other information might be duplicated in each classroom.
    Is my understanding correct about the portfolios?
    Thanks so much.

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    Susan Pollack
    Norfolk VA
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  • 8.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-26-2020 09:38 AM
    What you have described sounds like have some misunderstanding about aspects of the portfolio process. For early learning program accreditation, programs are asked to prepare 2 kinds of portfolios -- a Program Portfolio (PP), and one or more Class Portfolios (CPs).

    These 2 types of portfolios assess different assessment items. 
    You can find a copy of the Program Portfolio assessment tool on our website, here:
    https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/accreditation/early-learning/pp_2019.pdf

    Here is the site for a Class Portfolio tool that includes all the items we assess for all eligible ages:
    https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/accreditation/early-learning/cp_sv_itpks_-_2019.pdf

    The Program Portfolio assesses recommended practices at the program level. You must always prepare a Program Portfolio; this is usually done by a program administrator.
    Class Portfolios (CPs) assess practices for classes of different ages, and are intended to show the practices within classrooms. We recommend that classroom teaching staff take the lead in preparing CPs, with administrative staff support.
    Here you have some options as to how many CPs you prepare. Each class can create its own CP, or you can create "shared" CPs if you have several classes within one of the age categories NAEYC has used to discriminate the assessment items, which themselves reflect differences in recommended practices for different ages of children. Age categories are Infant, Toddler/Two, Preschool (3's, 4's, sometimes 5s), Kindergarten, and Schoolage. So if you had a toddler class and a twos class, you could create a one CP to represent both those classes. If you had 2 or more classes serving children in our preschool category, you could create a single CP to be assessed for those classes, even if one class is all 3s and the other is 4's and up -- they are all assessed on Preschool age category items.
    You cannot create a single CP that spans all your age categories. However, if you have a "mixed age" group (spanning more than one of the NAEYC age categories), your CP would address all items applicable the age categories in that class. For example, if you have a group of infants and toddlers combined, your CP for that group must address all items applicable to both infants and toddler/two age categories.

    I hope this is helpful!

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    Susan Hedges
    Director, Quality Assessment and Assurance
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Rockville MD
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  • 9.  RE: Reaccreditation Visits During Covid?

    Posted 10-26-2020 10:30 AM
    Thanks.  This is exactly what I was looking for.
    Susan