CHECKLIST FOR QUALITY HEAD START FACILITIES
Worksheet #3

Purpose: This checklist is a self-assessment tool for Head Start grantees and delegate agencies. It is organized around the following facilities categories:
 

  • Classrooms
  • Administrative
  • Parent and staff space
  • Playgrounds
  • Building and grounds
  • Instructions: Rate each applicable category by checking the "Yes," "No," or "Needing Improvement" column in answer to each item in the category. If a particular item is not applicable to the facility you are assessing, note "N/A" in the "Comments" column. Comments should highlight aspects of the facility that are outstanding or exemplary and note areas that need improvement, along with the corrective action required. In particular, comments should identify any areas that pose immediate or potential hazards to the children or that may constitute a safety or health risk for parents, staff, or volunteers.

    This checklist is designed to be filled out for a Head Start facility at one location or site. Assess each classroom in the facility separately, duplicating Part A. Classrooms of the Checklist as necessary.
     

    Program ____________________________________________________________________

    Review Date: __________________________________

    Name of Facility: ______________________________________________________

    Location: ____________________________________________________

    Facility Director: _____________________________________________

    Telephone No __________________________________________

    Reviewer(s): _______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

    Telephone No(s):_____________________________________________________________
     
    SUMMARY RATING
    Category # Yes # No # Needing Improvement Comments
    Classroom 1        
    Classroom 2        
    Classroom 3        
    Classroom 4        
    Classroom 5        
    Playground        
    Parent/Staff Space        
    Administrative Space        
    Building and Grounds        
    Total        
    Action Recommended:

     

      Yes No Comments
    A. CLASSROOMS      
    All classrooms:
    1. Is there space for one-to-one, small group, and large group activities?
         
    2. Does the layout support developmentally appropriate learning?      
    3. Is there at least 35 square feet of space per child?      
    4. Is the furniture child sized?      
    5. Are toilets and basins child sized and accessible to children?      
    6. Is drinking water accessible to children?      
    7. Do children have space to hang up their coats, and cubbies for their belongings?      
    8. Is there space for children to play quietly alone?      
    9. Does the classroom meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act?      
    10. Does the setting promote mainstreaming of children with disabilities?      
    11. Does the layout encourage children to rearrange space for their own activities?      
    12. Is space organized into functional areas recognized by the children?      
    13. Does the layout permit children to move freely from one area to another, without disruption?      
    14. Can children's artwork be displayed at a child's
    eye level?
         
    15. Have sound absorbing materials been used?      
    16. Are there separate quiet and active areas?      
    17. Are there soft elements, such as carpeting and pillows?      
    18. Can children be seen and supervised at all times? For example, are there view panels on all doors to rooms in which children play? Can children be observed while they are in bathroom areas?      
    19. Can children move about easily and play safefy in the classroom?      
    20. Do space, light, ventilation, and physical arrangements meet the children's health, safety, and developmental needs?      
    21. Is there an outside door from the classroom or other safe ways to exit in a fire or other emergency?      
    22. Does the layout support nutritional activities?      
    23. Is there adequate space for indoor play and for gross motor activities, especially in bad weather?      
    24. Are shelves and storage for toys and materials
    accessible to children?
         
    Infant/toddler rooms
    25. Is the furniture and equipment sized for children
    under age 3?
         
    26. Are the toys suitable for infants and toddlers?      
    27. Is there an area where infants can crawl safely?      
    28. Are there quiet rest and sleeping areas with adjustable lighting?      
    29. Are there safe, sturdy cribs for infants?      
    30. Is there a separate diapering area?      
    31. Is there a diapering table about 36" high?      
    32. Is there a seperate sink for washing up after diapering?      
    33. Are there toilets in or near the toddlers' room?      
    34. Is the food preparation area separate from the diapering and toileting areas?      
    35. Is there a refrigerator to store infant formula, milk, and baby food?      
    36. Are there bottle warmers or other ways to heat milk and food?      
    37. Is there a dishwasher or other means of sterilizing bottles and eating utensils?      
    38. Is there a sink for washing up eating utensils which is separate from the sink for washing up after diapering?      
    39. Are there storage cabinets out of reach of children?      

     

      Yes No Comments
    B. Playground      
    1.  Is there a minimum of 75 square feet per child of usable outdoor play space?      
    2.  Are there shock absorbing surfaceing materials under and around the equipment? Do these materials meet Consumer Product Safety Commissions guidlines?      
    3. Is there equipment free of rust, rot, cracks, splinters, or protrusions?      
    4. Is the playground free of dangerous debris?      
    5. Has the equipment been installed according to the manufacturer's specifications, and is it securely anchored?      
    6. Is there a barrier around the playground to keep children from running into the street?      
    7. Are the playground and the equipment appropriate to the children's size, age, and development levels?      
    8. Are the playground and equipment accessible to children with disabilities?      
    9. Are there distinct play area with a variety of surfaces for different purposes?      
    10. Can children move freely and safely about the playground?      
    11. Is there a hard surface area for wheeled toys?      
    12. Are there areas and structures that invite balancing, jumping, and climbing?      
    13. Are there safe and healthy places for sand and water play?      
    14. Is there convenient storage for outdoor equipment and materials?      
    15. Is there payground close to the facility?      
    16. Are there outdoor water fountains available?      

     

      Yes No Comments
    C. Parent and Staff Space      
    1. Is there a designated space for parents to meet and engage in program activities?      
    2. Does the layout encourage all types of parent involvement, including training in child development and literacy?      
    3. Is there an area where staff and parents can talk privately?      
    4.Is there space for staff to go for breaks?      
    5. Is there adequate space for staff meetings and training sessions?      
    6. Are there seperate designated bathrooms for adults available to staff and parents, including a bathroom accessible to adults with disabilities?      
    7. Is there a convenient bulletin board where notices for parents can be posted and easily seen?      
    D. Administrative Space      
    1. Is there adequate space to conduct child health and development screening and assessment?      
    2. Is there secure space to store confidential child and family records?      
    3. Is there secure space to store old records for at least thre years?      
    4. Is there adequate storage for coats for children, staff, and parents?      
    5. If needed, is there adequate space for co-locating staff from other agemcies serving Head Start children and families?      
    6. Are property records and property and equipment inventories maintained and up-to-date?      
    E. Building and Grounds      
    1. Is the facility accessible to parents, staff, and children with disabilities?      
    2. Does the layout make it easy to greet children and parents when they arrive and leave?      
    3. Does the kitchen met health and safety requirments?      
    4. Do bathrooms meet health and safety requirments?      
    5. Are there child abuse safeguards, such as low walls, vision panels, and reflective security mirrors?      
    6. Is there safe, locked storage for cleaning supplies and other toxic products?      
    7. Are heating units and electrical outlets safe, covered, and/or inaccessible to children?      
    8. Is emergency lighting available in case or power failure?      
    9. Is all paint lead-free?      
    10. Is the building free of asbestos?      
    11. Are the building entrances and the parking are well-lighted?      
    12. is the landscaping timmed and free of hazards?      
    13. Can staff, parents, and visitors enter the reception area without breaching the security of the playground?