Supplemental Guidelines for Quality Improvement

This document is intended to provide guidance to child care programs participating in Quality Counts. As such, it outlines guidelines of quality and provides a breakdown of indicators that describe what a program’s general level of quality will look like when the guidelines are being met. As a supplement to the Quality Counts standards, it is meant to be an additional resource utilized when considering a quality program and includes three areas that contribute to program quality:

  1. Health & Safety
  2. Ratio & Group Size
  3. Program Administration

Health & Safety

Level of Quality 
lowerNo more than ten (10) total DCF child care licensing violations in the last 12 months;
All staff view the handwashing training available at www.SharedResourcesFL.org or www.cdc.gov/cdctv/handstogether/ ;
Healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into activities at least once per month.
lowerNo more than seven (7) total DCF child care licensing violations in the last 12 months;
Healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into activities at least once per week;
Score 2 on Physical Activity survey;
Score 2 on Food survey.
midNo more than five (5) total DCF child care licensing violations in the last 12 months;
At least one staff per classroom has a current and valid Pediatric First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification;
Healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into activities at least twice per week;
Score 2.5 on Physical Activity survey;
Score 2.5 on Food survey.
midNo more than three (3) total DCF child care licensing violations in the last 12 months;
Healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into activities at least three times per week;
Score 3 on Physical Activity survey;
Score 3 on Food survey;
If serving infants and toddlers (children 0-36 months), have an ideal environment for mothers to nurse or pump breastmilk and support mothers who choose to do so.
higherNo more than one (1) DCF child care licensing violation in the last 12 months;
100% teaching staff have a current and valid Pediatric First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification;
Healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into activities daily.

Ratio & Group Size

Level of QualityRatioGroup Size
lowerMeets licensing requirements:
Infants 1:4
Ones 1:6
Twos 1:11
Threes 1:15
Fours/Fives 1:20
Per DCF licensing: N/A
lowerInfants 1:4
Ones 1:6
Twos 1:9
Threes 1:13
Fours/Fives 1:16
Maximum 8
Maximum 12
Maximum 18
Maximum 26
Maximum 32
midInfants 1:4
Ones 1:5
Twos 1:8
Threes 1:12
Fours/Fives 1:13
Maximum 8
Maximum 10
Maximum 16
Maximum 24
Maximum 26
midInfants 1:4
Ones 1:5
Twos 1:7
Threes 1:10
Fours/Fives 1:11
Maximum 8
Maximum 10
Maximum 14
Maximum 20
Maximum 22
higherInfants 1:3
Ones 1:4
Twos 1:6
Threes 1:9
Fours/Fives 1:10
Maximum 8
Maximum 8
Maximum 12
Maximum 18
Maximum 20

Program Administration

Level of Quality 
lowerProgram gathers demographic info (race, ethnicity, language) for all staff and children;
Program knows its current staffed capacity & enrollment;
Program tracks child attendance and notifies families if a child is absent 3 or more times in one month;
Provider has a computer with internet access and email;
Program has a mission or vision statement, and a business/strategic plan.
lowerProgram has a comprehensive Staff Handbook;
Staff orientation provides all new hires the Staff Handbook and Family Handbook and all personnel policies ;
All documents for staff are written in two most common languages of staff;
Program uses three or more marketing tools;
Program has a current year operating budget (including revenue & expenses).
midStaff meetings are held at least once per quarter;
100% staff employed for more than one year have annual staff evaluations documented, signed and dated within the last 12 months and must include teacher self-evaluation;
Staff evaluate the program in writing annually;
Program has a plan for communicating with prospective families and follow-up action is taken after all prospective parent inquiries.
mid100% of staff employed for more than one year have annual staff evaluations documented, signed and dated within the last 12 months and must include teacher self-evaluation and classroom observation;
Program uses a salary scale that is differentiated by position, education, training, and years of experience and is available in the Staff Handbook.
higherStaff meetings are held at least once per month;
100% evaluated staff must have specific goals identified based on their last evaluation and measured at each evaluation;
Program uses a staffing plan that provides classroom coverage so that children are not regrouped at the beginning or end of the day.