Spark Overview of Domains and Standards
Children's Learning & Development
This is the largest domain and covers the learning environment - both the physical environment and the curriculum or program of learning. It emphasizes having an intentional philosophy and program of learning which requires planning and input from child screening and assessment. It also covers optimizing children's social and emotional health through appropriate adult-child interactions and having an environment that is optimal in terms of size, arrangement and equipment, accessible to all children and culturally appropriate.
- The program is guided by a written statement of philosophy.
- The program uses a curriculum that supports all children's learning and development.
- The program uses information from screening and assessment to measure development and learning in order to make referrals and do program planning.
- The program facilitates and supports appropriate adult-child interactions, including: social and emotional support; organization and management of children's behavior, time and attention; and instructional support.
- The program facilitates and supports children's positive social and emotional development.
Health & Safety
This domain focuses on health and safety items that are beyond what is required in licensing. Health and hygiene instruction is given in a positive way and covers toileting, germ transmission and tooth brushing. In addition to healthy eating and fitness habits being encouraged, staff are required to address individual health needs of children if needed and consult with other professionals. Screen time limits have been included here as they relate to health as opposed to curriculum or learning.
- Children are provided instruction and support to independently manage health and hygiene practices.
- Children are provided instruction and support on safety rules and expectations.
- Healthy eating and fitness habits are supported and encouraged.
- Program personnel collaborate with health and health-related service professionals to address the individual health needs of children as applicable.
- Program provides appropriate use and modeling on children's "screen" viewing time.
This domain is focused on the need for highly qualified staff receiving ongoing advancement of their knowledge and skills. The Oregon Registry is used to measure personnel qualifications and ongoing professional development. This domain requires action on the part of employees to submit their information to the Registry as well as time to participate in the professional development.
- The program's leader is currently qualified to serve in their position through education, training and experience.
- The program's head teacher(s) and teacher(s) are currently qualified to serve in their position through education, training and experience.
- The program's assistant II(s) (Family) and aide II(s) (Center) are currently qualified to serve in their position through education, training and experience.
- Program personnel continue to advance their knowledge and skills through participation in training and/or college course credits annually that are part of a professional development plan.
This domain focuses on reciprocal relationships with families. It requires that programs use the provided "Family Survey" which asks questions about how families feel their input is solicited, how open the communication is and if they are encouraged to participate in the program. It also asks how well the program provides information to families both about the program and outside resources.
- The program uses family input and feedback to guide all aspects of program planning and implementation.
- The program meets the individual needs of children through mutually respectful, two-way communication.
- Families are encouraged to be regular and frequent participants in the program.
- The program provides support and information to assist the family in meeting their child's needs and goals.
Administration & Business Practices
This domain focuses on good business practices and professionalism which are important not only to stay in business, but to retain personnel which impacts continuity of care. It also covers program evaluation which helps to promote quality and continuous improvement.
- The program follows sound business practices, policies and procedures that support financial health.
- In programs where there are multiple employees, the program assures a professional working climate, and promotes positive working relationships and professionalism.
- A comprehensive program evaluation process is developed and performed annually.