Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (PA-ECE) 10: Child Supervision

Close supervision ensures child safety and improves service quality.
2020 Edition




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for child pick-up
  • Procedures for documenting attendance
  • Procedures for covering staff breaks and other situations that require a teaching staff person to leave the classroom for five minutes or more
  • Procedures for mixing age groups
  • Documentation of group size and ratios in each classroom for the previous month
  • Staffing chart for the previous month
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Observe facility
  • Observe arrival and pick-up times

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 10.01

Each child is supervised to ensure:
  1. departure is with a person who has been approved in writing by his or her parents;
  2. absences are documented;
  3. off-site whereabouts while under the supervision of the agency are known and documented; and
  4. departure is not allowed with someone who poses a safety risk and staff follow procedures for using relevant agency or community resources to intervene as needed.
Examples: Individuals who pose a safety risk can include those who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and those who are mentally or physically unstable.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 10.02

The child care center maintains teacher-child ratios and group sizes at all times both on- and off-site that:
  1. do not exceed COA's Recommended Teacher-Child Ratios and Group Sizes
  2. take into consideration changes in supervision needs based on activities being conducted; and
  3. take into consideration the needs of the children in the group.


Plans should be in place to maintain ratios whenever a teacher leaves the room for longer than five minutes, including when staff:
  1. works individually with a child who is ill, requires separation from the group, needs special supervision or care, or has an emergency;
  2. takes a break; or
  3. leaves the room to retrieve supplies.
Examples: Lower ratios may be warranted based on the special physical, social, or developmental needs of children within the group, the risks associated with a particular activity, and the qualifications and competencies of the teachers to ensure that children’s needs are being met.


PA-ECE 10.03

When mixing age groups, the agency ensures:
  1. the developmental needs of all children can be met;
  2. teachers are skilled in programming for mixed-aged groupings; and
  3. the group’s teacher-child ratio is tailored with consideration given to the age of the youngest children in the group.
NA The agency does not offer mixed-age groupings.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 10.04

Teaching staff maintain constant supervision of the children in their care by both sight and sound.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ECE 10.05

Indoor and outdoor facilities are arranged to ensure constant child supervision, including:
  1. convenient storage of items needed for napping, feeding, diapering, and administrative tasks;
  2. low barriers between designated spaces to maintain constant visibility of the entire room;
  3. convex mirrors installed wherever they are needed; and
  4. visibility of the classroom by more than one adult.