CHAPTER 4: NAEYC AND OTHER STANDARDS
on site, or brought from home. In most instances, food will be prepared on
Age Separation is the grouping of children into single-age classes. This
site because it typically results in more affordable care. The design process
practice allows adult providers to care for children who are close in chro-
should make all parties aware of the long-term costs and ramifications of
nological age. Some of the advantages noted below for age mixing can
catered food service.
be facilitated by placing small windows which do not encumber furniture
at children's level between classrooms. Children can observe the be-
Food service facilities must accommodate the serving of nutritious meals
havior of other groups. Apart from other advantages, the effect is to
and maintain the quality of food. Special accommodations must be provided
expose younger children to the behavior of older children as a teaching
for infant feeding and nursing.
and socialization aid. Where possible, windows at adult viewing level
should be incorporated to enhance supervision.
Age Mixing is the placing of children who are at least a year or more
GOAL: Systematic assessment of the effectiveness of the program in
apart in chronological age into the same child care group. Groups with
meeting its goals for children, parents, and staff is conducted to ensure
mixed ages of older toddlers and pre-school children may provide ad-
that good quality care and education are provided and maintained.
vantages by encouraging interaction between children of different ages.
When children 2 years old and older are part of a mixed-age group, the
Space must be supplied for the filing and storage of children's records,
center must adhere to the group sizes and teacher-child supervision
observations, case studies, etc. A staff training area, such as a conference
ratios shown for those younger children on the following page.
room, should be provided.
Classroom size must be consistent with group size. See Table 4.1 for
4.2 Group Size and Staff-Child
group size and required staff-child ratios.
4.3 Additional Requirements
Sufficient staff MUST be available to provide frequent personal contact,
In addition to complying with NAEYC criteria, child care centers in GSA-
meaningful learning activities, supervision, and physical care. A limited
owned or -controlled spaces must comply with the licensing requirements
group size and a limited ratio of children to staff are critical for program
of the state in which they are located. When there is conflict between
success. Group sizes should be small so children receive personal attention
criteria, the most stringent requirements will apply. Licensing requirements
and do not feel overwhelmed. The ratio of staff to child will vary depending
vary between states and are constantly being updated and modified. The
user must review the requirements of the specific state at the time the
Age of children.
center is designed.
Type of program activity.
Inclusion of children with special needs.
Mixing of children of different ages (age mixing)/state and local licensing
1 ACCREDITATION CRITERIA & PROCEDURES OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS, Washington, D.C.: National Association for the
Education of Young Children, 1991.
2 Amended from ACCREDITATION CRITERIA & PROCEDURES OF THE NATIONAL
ACADEMY OF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS, Washington, D.C.: National Asso-
ciation for the Education of Young Children, 1991.
PBS-140 - July 2003