Guide to the Home-Based Standards

Welcome family providers! Use the tabs above to navigate through the Family-based Standards. By clicking into the individual indicators, you can access standard clarifications, answers to frequently asked questions, suggestions for submitting high quality documentation, as well as links to key resources and further reading.

Select a Standard Category to Begin:

  • Home Environment
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    HE-1

    Provider attends training on the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-R (FCCERS-R).

    2
    • Training as indicated by Aspire
    HE-2

    Provider completes a self-assessment using the FCCERS-R and writes an improvement plan to address subscale scores below 3.25.

    8
    • Completed FCCERS-R self-assessment report with written improvement plan.
    HE-3

    Provider has an independent FCCERS-R assessment and achieves an overall score of 4.25 – 4.99. Written improvement plan for subscale scores below 3.50.

    30
    • Completed FCCERS-R assessment report with written improvement plan.
    HE-4

    Provider has an independent FCCERS-R assessment and achieves an overall score of 5.00 – 5.49. Written improvement plan for subscale scores below 4.00.

    40
    • Completed FCCERS-R assessment report with written improvement plan.
    HE-5

    Provider has an independent FCCERS-R assessment and achieves an overall score of 5.50 or higher. Written improvement plan for subscale scores below 4.50.

    50
    • Completed FCCERS-R assessment report with written improvement plan.
  • Child Observation and Assessment
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    COA-1

    Provider collects information at enrollment about the child’s development, including social emotional concerns, dominant language, preferences and any special needs. 

    2
    • 2 completed questionnaires (with identifying information removed).
    COA-2

    Provider documents the developmental status of each child within 45 days of entering the home using a child development screening tool.

    2
    • One completed copy of each developmental screening tool used (with identifying information removed)

    OR

    • Policy and procedures for screening
    COA-3

    Provider uses a developmental screening tool that is valid and reliable.

    1

    Evidence of use of one of the following tools:

    • Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3)
    • Ages and Stages Questionnaires Social-Emotional
    • Battelle Developmental Inventory Screening Test
    • Brigance Inventories System II
    • Brigance Self-Help and Social-Emotional Scales
    • Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST)
    • Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Early Learning 3rd Edition (DIAL 3)
    • Early Screening Inventory – Revised (ESI-R)
    • Learning Accomplishment Profile-Diagnostic Screens
    • Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS)
    • Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status-Developmental Milestones (PEDS:DM)
    • Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales, Second Edition (PKBS-2)
    • Other – submit proof that tool is valid and reliable
    COA-4

    Provider documents the developmental progress of each child at least quarterly using a child development assessment tool or anecdotal records.

    2
    • One completed copy of  assessment tool used (with identifying information removed)

    OR 

    • Anecdotal records (one per age group, with identifying information removed)
    COA-5

    Provider uses a developmental assessment tool that is valid and reliable.

    1

    Evidence of use of one of the following tools:

    • Ages and Stages Questionnaires
    • Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum Assessment
    • Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development
    • Brigance Inventories
    • Galileo Preschool Assessment Scales
    • High Scope Child Observation Record (COR)
    • Learning Accomplishment Profile-Diagnostic (English or Spanish)
    • Mullen Scales of Early Learning
    • Ounce Scale
    • Work Sampling System
    • Teaching Strategies GOLD
    • Other – submit proof that tool is valid and reliable
    COA-6

    Provider and any regular assistants have annual training(s) in child observation and assessment including recognition of developmental milestones, identifying possible developmental delays and linking child observation and assessment to curriculum implementation.

    6
    • Training as indicated by Aspire
    COA-7

    Provider can document that child observations and assessments are used to inform instruction that guide curriculum implementation and individual child learning.

    6
    • 2 samples of weekly or daily lesson plans that include individualized learning goals based on child observations and assessment

    AND

    • Statement of how provider monitors children’s progress towards learning goals and makes appropriate adaptations
  • Curriculum Planning and Implementation
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    CPI-1

    Provider has lesson plans that outline learning goals and contain associated intentional activities.

    2
    • 2 samples of weekly or daily lesson plans
    CPI-2

    Provider uses a written curriculum or curriculum framework that is developmentally appropriate and addresses the key domains of child development. 

    3
    • Curriculum or curriculum framework

    AND

    • Documentation of use, such as daily plans or notes to parents
    CPI-3

    Provider uses a written curriculum or curriculum framework curriculum that is evidence-based, meaning research has been conducted regarding the relationship between the curriculum and children’s learning.

    3

    Evidence of use of one of the following curricula:

    • Before ABCs: Promoting School Readiness in Infants and Toddlers
    • Caring for Infants and Toddlers in Groups: Developmentally Appropriate Practice (Second Edition), Zero to Three
    • Cradling Literacy
    • Creative Curriculum
    • Create Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Two’s
    • Family Childcare Curriculum
    • High Scope Curriculum
    • The Montessori Approach
    • Other – submit proof that curriculum is evidence-based
    CPI-4

    The curriculum or curriculum framework aligns with the NYS Early Learning Guidelines and/or the Pre-K Foundation for the Common Core.

    4
    • Curriculum or curriculum framework

    AND

    • Completed curriculum crosswalk
    CPI-5

    The curriculum or curriculum framework is adapted to be culturally competent by incorporating into the learning environment culturally sensitive books, themes and projects.

    2
    • 2 sample lesson plans

    OR

    • 2 sample activity descriptions
    CPI-6

    Provider and any assistants receive annual training to implement the curriculum.

    3
    • Training as indicated by Aspire
    CPI-7

    Provider implements appropriate modifications and provides additional supports to enable children with IFSPs or IEPs more effective inclusion in the full range of the program’s activities.

    • Statement describing a currently enrolled child with IFSPs or IEPs and how your home implements significant modifications and provides additional supports
  • Physical Well-being & Health
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PH-1

    Program provides infants daily opportunities to move freely under adult supervision to explore indoor and outdoor environments, including tummy time when awake.

    1
    • Parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Curriculum

    OR

    • Daily schedule

    OR

    • Lesson plans or goal statements

    OR

    • Other
    PH-2

    Program provides opportunities for toddlers and/or preschoolers to have at least 15 minutes of developmentally appropriate, structured and unstructured, moderate to vigorous physical activity (both inside and outside) for every hour they are in care. For example, in a 3 hour program, children should have at least 45 minutes of physical activity in total, not necessarily continuously.

    1
    • Parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Evidence of policy

    OR

    • Daily schedule or plan

    OR

    • Other
    PH-3

    Provider has a policy that details the use of TV/video for children, including that TV/video time is never used during nap and meal time or for children birth to age 2. For children ages 2 to 5 there is no more than 30 minutes once a week of high quality educational/movement-based commercial-free programming.

    2
    • Parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Policy statement
    PH-4

    Provider promotes the consumption of meals and snacks that meet the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern for the ages served.

    2
    • If provider is in CACFP provide evidence of CACFP participation such as CACFP billing, CACFP reimbursement checks, correspondence from CACFP Sponsor or CACFP contract

    OR

    • If provider is not in CACFP provide a statement of how menus or meal/snack log meet the equivalent meal patterns
    PH-5

    Provider implements a formal obesity prevention program.

    1

    Evidence must demonstrate adoption of a formal obesity prevention program.

    • Program assessment(s)

    OR

    • Action plan(s)

    OR

    • Timeline(s)

    OR

    • Goal statement(s)

    OR

    • Other
    PH-6

    Provider attends training regarding implementation of the obesity prevention program.

    1
    • Training as indicated by Aspire
  • About Learning Environment

    There is substantial evidence that classroom environment features are c entral to program quality and there is limited evidence that varied and appropriate classroom materials support children's development. T here is substantial evidence that the quality of teacher-child interactions contributes to qua lity in early care and education settings and substantial evidence that children with involved and responsive caregivers fare better on a wide variety of child development measures. There is a subst antial amount of evidence that developmentally appropriate curriculum is related to other measures of program quality and substantial evidence that a developmentally appropriate curriculum is related to child outcomes. There is a moderate amount of evidence tha t developmentally-appropriate assessment is associ ated with improved child development outcome.

  • Communication
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    C-1

    Provider communicates with parents of infants in writing on a daily basis about care giving routines, such as feeding, sleeping, and diapering/toileting.

    3
    • Form used for communication

    AND

    • Evidence of use (e.g. referenced in paid employee job descriptions or parent/family handbook)
    C-2

    Program communicates with families in a comprehensive, written format about the program’s history, philosophy, admissions policies, other procedures, applicable regulations, and parent involvement opportunities. 

    8

    Evidence must include information on the program’s history, admissions policies and parent/family involvement opportunities.

    • Parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Handouts

    OR

    • Website posting(s)

    OR

    • Other
    C-3

    Provider periodically communicates in writing with families about program and child activities and other pertinent information.

    4
    • 2 copies of evidence, such as newsletters, e-newsletters, e-mails, website postings, etc.
    C-4

    Provider meets one-on-one with parents about their individual child’s developments at least twice a year.

    4

    Evidence must demonstrate that meetings occurred on at least 2 different dates within the previous 15 months.

    • Meeting invitation

    OR

    • Calendar showing schedule of teachers’ conferences

    OR

    • Conference announcement(s)

    OR

    • Parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Sign in sheet(s)

    OR

    • Other
    C-5

    Provider shares information with parents about the provider’s, and any assistant’s, educational qualifications and professional experience.

    4
    • Handbook with staff qualification information

    OR

    • Staff member profiles

    OR

    • Website

    OR

    • Other
    C-6

    Provider provides written information about family resources and supports, such as information on child development, oral health, child health insurance, tax credits, and child care financial assistance.

    9

    Evidence must show that written information about relevant family resources and supports is accessible to families.

    • Reference to the availability of resources

    AND

    • 3 sample resources/supports offered
  • Family Involvement & Support
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    FIS-1

    Provider supports breastfeeding.

    2
    • If participating in CACFP provide CACFP Breastfeeding Friendly Certificate

    OR

    • If not participating in CACFP provide a completed CACFP Self-Assessment
    FIS-2

    Provider offers family social gatherings that intentionally include other family members, in addition to parents.

    3

    Evidence must show that provider offers family social gatherings that include family members beyond just parents.

    • Announcement or invitation

    OR

    • Calendar showing gathering(s)

    OR

    • Newsletter

    OR

    • Other
    FIS-3

    Provider offers volunteering opportunities for families, such as help with field trips and opportunities to share talents and expertise.

    3

    Evidence must show that provider offers opportunities for family members to volunteer.

    • Policy Statement

    OR

    • Memo

    OR

    • Announcement or invitation

    OR

    • Other
    FIS-4

    Families complete a program evaluation or survey annually and results are used for program improvement.

    4
    • 2 samples of completed surveys or other evaluation tools

    AND

    • Improvement implementation plan based on survey responses
    FIS-5

    Provider completes a self-assessment on family-responsive practices using a tool, such as the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Family Strengthening Self-Assessment tool, and results are used for program improvement.

    5
    • Program assessment tool, at least 50% completed

    AND

    • 1 improvement/action plan based on assessment results
    FIS-6

    Provider and any assistants complete a self-assessment of cultural competence using a tool, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children Pathways to Cultural Competence Toolkit, the Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports In Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings the Checklist for Promoting Cultural & Linguistic Competency for ECE Personnel from the National Center on Cultural Competence, or some other tool. The results are used for program improvement.

    5
    • Completed self-assessment

    OR

    • Self-assessment reports

    OR

    • Provider improvement plan
    FIS-7

    Provider and any assistants greet children and parents in the home languages of the children and parents.

    2
    • List of home language(s) spoken other than English

    AND

    • Policy/philosophy statement indicating how staff greet children in their home

    language(s)

    FIS-8

    Provider has access to at least one English speaker who also speaks those languages who can assist with translation or other requests (e.g., another parent, community volunteer, or neighbor).

    2
    • Policy statement

    OR

    • Resumes showing language fluency

    OR

    • Statement from person(s) who speaks the dominant language
    FIS-9

    Provider obtains training to address the needs of English language learners.

    6
    • Evidence in Aspire that at least the provider has attended the relevant training within the previous 15 months
  • Transitions
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    T-1

    Provider has a written policy and procedures to support children and families transitioning into the home childcare setting, which includes providing information on separation and attachment.

    4

    Evidence must reference ways in which the provider supports families when starting the program, including providing information on separation and attachment.

    • Policy statement

    OR

    • Procedures
    T-2

    Provider has a written policy and procedures to support children and families transitioning out of the home child care setting including when children transition to another care or educational setting (e.g., other family home, kindergarten).

    4

    Evidence must reference ways in which the program supports families in transitioning out of their family child care home and into another program.

    • Policy statement

    OR

    • Procedures

    OR

    • Information from parent/family handbook

    OR

    • Sample of information given to families (e.g. kindergarten registration)

    OR

    • Evidence of meetings or other supports
  • About Family Engagement

    There is substantial evidence that parent involvem ent and parent-provider communication is important for high quality early childhood education. There is subs tantial evidence that parent-involvement is related to child development outcom es. Parent-provider communication in the parent's dominant language is necessary for optimum results.

  • Provider Management Qualifications
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PMQ-1

    15 clock hours in management, leadership, and/or administration (or for Group FCC in supervision)

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with training certificates
    PMQ-2

    3 to 5 credits in management, leadership, and/or administration (or for Group FCC in supervision)

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PMQ-3

    6 to 8 credits in management, leadership, and/or administration (or for Group FCC in supervision)

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PMQ-4

    9 or more credits (13.5 CEUs) in management, leadership, and/or administration (or for Group FCC in supervision)

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
  • Provider Administrative Experience
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PAE-1

    At least 3 years of experience in an administrative position in an early care and education program

    2
    • As indicated in Aspire employment tab
  • Provider & Assistant Qualifications
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PAQ-1

    Child Development Associate (CDA) credential with Infant-Toddler specialization

    -OR-

    Child Development Associate (CDA) credential with Family Child Care specialization

    -OR-

    Child Development Associate (CDA) credential with Preschool specialization

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with certificate
    PAQ-2

    Montessori, Infant/Toddler Credential

    -OR-

    Montessori, Early Childhood Credential

    -OR-

    Montessori, International Credential

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with certificate
    PAQ-3

    NYS Infant-Toddler Credential

    -OR-

    NYS Family Child Care Credential

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with certificate
    PAQ-4

    No higher education degree but at least 9 college credits in ECE

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PAQ-5

    No higher education degree but at least 18 college credits in ECE

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PAQ-6

    Associates degree in ECE, or Associates degree in a related field and 9 ECE credits, or any Associates degree and at least 24 credits in ECE

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PAQ-7

    Bachelor’s degree in ECE, or Bachelor’s degree in a related field and 9 ECE credits, or any Bachelor’s degree and at least 24 credits in ECE.

    -OR-

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PAQ-8

    Master’s degree or higher in ECE, or Master’s degree in a related field and 9 ECE credits or any Master’s degree or higher and at least 24 credits in ECE

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with transcript
    PAQ-9

    NYS Early Childhood Teacher (Birth – Grade 2) Certificate

    -OR-

    NYS Students with Disabilities (Birth – Grade 2) Certificate

    -OR-

    NYC Teacher (N-6) Certificate

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with certificate
    PAQ-10

    Family Development Credential

    • As indicated in Aspire, verified with certificate
  • Provider & Assistant Experience
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    E-1

    At least 3 years of experience in any teaching position in an early care and education program

    6
    • As indicated in Aspire employment tab
  • Retention
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    R-1

    Provider has been a registered or licensed (group) family day care operator continuously for 5 or more years.

    12
    • License status as indicated in Aspire
  • About Qualifications and Experience

    There is a substantial amount of evidence that teacher education and training are related to other measures of program quality and to child outcomes. There is substantial evidenc e that director professional development is related to other measures of program quality and limited evidence that director pr ofessional development is related to child outcomes. While the re is limited and conflicting evidence that experience of staff is rela ted to other measures of progr am quality or child development outcomes, consumers value experience.

    Note: Points are earned for the highest degree completed AND for eac h of several credentials AND for experience. The provider earns points in Management (qualifications and experience). Both the provider and any assistants earn points in the Provider an d Assistants Qualifications and Experience sect ions. If there is an assistant, these points are weighted by percent of time worke d by the provider and the assistant and averaged. To be equitable betw een group family and family child care, the provider's qualifi cations and experience count more heavily than the assistant's.

    Provider and any assistant qualification and experience will be enter ed into Aspire: New York's Wo rkforce Registry. Aspire will verify this information and send it to QUALITYstarsNY.

  • Administrative Self-Assessment
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    ASA-1

    Provider conducts a self-assessment using a tool, such as the Business Administration Scale (BAS) or the self-study for National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation (NAFCC).

    5

    Completed Business Administration Scale (BAS) Item Summary Form and completed BAS Profile

    OR

    • NAFCC Candidacy Report

    OR

    • NAFCC Annual Accreditation Assessment
    ASA-2

    Provider demonstrates progress on a plan aligned to the self-assessment.

    5
    • Plan indicating progress made in at least 3 areas identified as needing improvement with concrete steps to make improvements in each area
  • Financial Accountability & Sustainability
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    FAS-1

    Liability insurance premium is current to date.

    2

    Evidence must reference program’s liability and be in effect at least 1 month past the submission date.

    • Insurance declaration page

    OR

    • Proof of payment

    OR

    • Other
    FAS-2

    Local, state and federal taxes are paid on time.

    2

    Evidence must demonstrate that state and federal income taxes were paid within the previous 15 months.

    • IRS Form 990

    OR

    • Proof of tax payment
    FAS-3

    Provider has a current-year operating budget showing revenues and expenses.

    3
    • Current operating budget showing revenues and expenses
    FAS-4

    Provider records income and expenses at least monthly and reviews income and expense statements, comparing actual revenues and expenses to budget quarterly.

    4
    • Quarterly financial reports
    FAS-5

    Provider has a system of record keeping that tracks incomes and expenses for tax purposes and individual cost of care.

    4
    • Evidence of record keeping system
    FAS-6

    Provider calculates cost of care, has goals for her own compensation, and uses both to set tuition rates.

    2
    • Cost of care calculation sheet or printout
    FAS-7

    There is an independent preparation of taxes by someone with accounting or bookkeeping expertise.

    4
    • Bill/invoice from tax preparer

    AND

    • Tax form with preparer’s signature
    FAS-8

    Provider uses technology to manage finances and enrollment, e.g., uses Minute Menu for CACFP or automated time and attendance.

    2
    • Enrollment or financial monitoring report(s)

    OR

    • Minute Menu reports
    FAS-9

    Provider has established procedures to market and fill open child care slots/vacancies.

    4
    • Procedures used to market and fill openings

    AND

    • A sample of 1 tool used for marketing
  • Policies and Procedures
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PP-1

    Provider uses substitutes no more than 20% of the time (e.g., no more than one day per week).

    9
    • Policy statement noting use of substitutes
    PP-2

    Provider maintains confidentiality regarding children and family information and communicates this confidentiality policy to any family members, employees and substitutes.

    6
    • Confidentiality policy
    PP-3

    The provider and any paid employees have professional development plans that match the Core Body of Knowledge: New York State’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Educators competency areas.

    12

    Evidence must be provided for at least the provider and one paid assistant (if applicable) and have been completed within the previous 15 months.

    • Core Body of Knowledge Professional Development Plans for provider and any assistant(s)

    OR

    • Other Professional Development Plan

    AND

    • Statement of how Plan(s) refer to the CBK competencies
  • Compensation and Benefits
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    CB-1

    Provider offers for self and any paid, full-time employees:

    (3 POINTS PER BENEFIT OPTION, UP TO 9 POINTS MAXIMUM)

    • 5 days of time off (sick and/or personal);
    • holidays;
    • professional development days
    3
    • Employee handbook detailing benefits

    OR

    • Compensation package

    OR

    • Employee policy

    OR

    • Other
    CB-2

    Provider and any paid, full-time employees have health insurance.

    4
    • Health insurance card

    OR

    • Health insurance policy

    OR

    • Health care bill
  • Program Planning
    Code Indicator Points Documentation
    PPL-1

    Provider spends at least one hour per week in program planning using appropriate resources such as printed materials, the internet, and curriculum-based planning tools.

    13
    • Weekly schedule

    OR

    • Planning sheet

    OR

    • Staff schedule
  • About Management and Leadership

    There is some evidence that the implementation of program policies and procedures is related to other measures of quality and child development outcomes.

    Note: For multi-site organizations, this section may need to be co mpleted by staff in the central office. Remember that documen tation must apply to the applicant site.