Welcome to the Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool!

The Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool is a searchable database of early childhood program standards, categorized by topic. Federal and state program standards, as well as other national and state program accreditations, are included in the tool. The goal of the tool is to provide information about various program standards and accreditations to support increased collaboration among early childhood programs.

Definitions

The Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool allows users to search for program standards and accreditations from multiple federal, state, and national organizations.  The following table includes the definition of each category and subcategory for your reference.  If you are looking for specific information that is not directly listed as a subcategory, use these definitions to locate information in the Comparison Tool.  You can also enter individual search terms in the search box.

Category Subcategory Definition
Learning Environment and Professional Practices

This category includes standards that relate to the learning environment and professional practices to support optimal development.
Classroom Materials & Equipment Standards that relate to the materials and equipment that are present in the classroom and learning environment.
Guidance & Behavior Standards that relate to program policies regarding discipline and guidance of child behavior.
Indoor Learning Environment Standards that relate to program policies regarding the establishment of the indoor learning environment to support optimal child development.
Observation & Assessment Standards that relate to program policies regarding the observation and assessment of children.
Outdoor Learning Environment Standards that relate to program policies regarding the establishment of the outdoor learning environment to support optimal child development.
Staff:Child Ratios & Classroom Assignments Standards that relate to program policies for maximum staff:child ratios in classrooms and the assignment of children to classrooms.
Teacher/Child Interaction Standards that relate to the interactions between children and their caregivers.
Technology & Media Standards that relate to program policies regarding the use of technology in the classroom by children.
Curriculum and Learning Activities

This category includes standards that relate to both general and subject-specific curriculum and learning activities.
General Curriculum & Learning Activities Standards that relate to general curriculum guidelines and learning activities for children.
Creative Arts Standards that specifically relate to creative arts curriculum guidelines and learning activities for children, such as dramatic play.
Language & Literacy Standards that specifically relate to language and literacy curriculum guidelines and learning activities for children.
Math & Science Standards that specifically relate to math and science guidelines and learning activities for children.
Physical Development & Motor Skills Standards that relate to physical development and motor skills guidelines and learning activities for children to support optimal child development.
Social & Emotional Standards that specifically relate to social and emotional development curriculum guidelines and learning activities for children.
Social Studies Standards that specifically relate to social studies guidelines and learning activities for children.
Program Management

This category includes standards that relate to the management and administration of early childhood programs.
Policies & Procedures Standards that relate to general program operational policies.
Attendance Standards that relate to program policies for child attendance.
Child Eligibility & Selection Standards that relate to a child’s eligibility to be enrolled into early childhood programs, and program policies for selecting children for enrollment.
Child Enrollment & Admissions Standards that relate to a program’s enrollment and admission policies for children.
Compliance with State & Federal Regulations Standards that relate to program compliance with applicable state licensing standards.
Ethics & Professionalism Standards that relate to program policies on ethical and professional practice guidelines.
Fees Standards that relate to a program’s fee and payment policies.
Financal Management Standards that relate to program policies regarding fiscal management.
Governance Standards that relate to program policies regarding the establishment of governing boards and governance procedures.
Liabilities Standards that relate to program requirements to hold valid liability insurance.
Mission & Vision Standards that relate to a program’s guiding statements of purpose, mission, and vision.
Operation Hours & Closures Standards that relate to program operation days and hours and notification of program closures.
Program Planning & Improvement Standards that relate to periodic program planning, monitoring, assessment, and improvement activities.
Record Keeping Standards that relate to general program policies regarding maintenance of confidential program, staff, and child records.
Reporting Standards that relate to required program reporting to an oversight agency, such as the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Required Postings & Communications Standards that relate to the posting of required documents (such as emergency numbers and a valid state operation license) and communications.
Staff Communication & Involvement Standards that relate to program communication with staff and involvement of staff in program decision-making.
Personnel Management

This category includes standards that relate to human resources practices, personnel management, and professional development.
Staff Recruitment & Retention Standards that relate to program policies for the recruitment and retention of program staff.
Annual Professional Development Standards that relate to required annual training hours for staff members.
Background Checks & Fingerprinting Standards that relate  to program policies regarding background checks and fingerprinting for employees.
Personnel Policies Standards that relate to written personnel policies and the provision of these policies to staff.                     
Pre-Service Training Standards that relate to professional development and training that must be completed before a new staff member can care for children.
Professional Development Planning Standards that relate to program policies to support staff through assessment and creation of professional development plans.
Qualifications & Responsibilities of ADMINISTRATORS Standards that relate to job responsibilities and qualifications of program administrators, directors, principals, etc.
Qualifications & Responsibilities of PRACTITIONERS Standards that relate to job responsibilities and qualifications of providers, caregivers, teachers, assistant teachers, practitioners, etc.
Qualifications & Responsibilities of SPECIALITY STAFF Standards that relate to job responsibilities and qualifications of specialty staff, such as drivers and health consultants.
Qualifications & Responsibilities of  SUBSTITUTES & VOLUNTEERS Standards that relate to job responsibilities and qualifications of substitute teachers and volunteers.
Specialized Professional Development Standards that relate to subject-specific professional development for staff, such as transportation safety, prevention of child abuse, and pediatric first aid.
Staff Evaluations Standards that relate to program policies regarding annual staff evaluations and appraisals.
Staff Orientation Standards that relate to a required orientation for new staff members.
Wages & Benefits Standards that relate to benefits for the program staff.
Health and Safety

This category includes standards that relate to the health and safety policies and practices of early childhood programs.
Policies & Procedures Standards that relate to the establishment of general health and safety policies, procedures, and plans in a program.
Child Abuse & Neglect Standards that relate to program policies regarding the prevention of child abuse and neglect and responsibilities for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
Child Health Records Standards that relate to program policies about required child health documentation and maintenance of child health records.
Child Health Screenings Standards that relate to program policies regarding child health screenings (such as developmental, vision, and hearing screenings.)
Dental Health Standards that relate to program policies and practices that promote effective dental hygiene for children.
Diapering & Toileting Standards that relate to program policies for diapering and toileting of children.
Disease Prevention & Immunizations Standards that relate to a program’s required immunizations for children, maintenance of immunization records, and procedures for preventing illness.
Emergency Preparedness & First Aid Standards that relate to program policies and procedures about first aid kits and emergency preparedness plans (such as evacuation, severe weather, and fire drills.)
Health Education Standards that relate to a program’s policies to educate children and families about healthy practices and promote their awareness of health and safety.
Hygiene & Sanitation Standards that relate to hygiene and sanitation procedures and practices for children and employees.
Indoor (Facility) Safety Standards that relate to indoor safety practices and the facility.
Injury Prevention Standards that relate to program safety policies for preventing injuries.
Inspections & Maintenance Standards that relate to required inspections (such as fire, gas, and carbon monoxide) and maintenance of the facility and playgrounds.
Medication Standards that relate to program policies for the administration and storage of medications.
Outdoor (Playground) Safety Standards that relate to outdoor safety practices, including the playground and surrounding areas.
Plants & Animals Standards that relate to program policies regarding pets, animals, and plants that may be present in a program.
Reporting Incidents &  Emergencies Standards that relate to program policies for reporting injuries, illnesses, and emergencies to medical personnel and families.
Responding to Injury & Illness Standards that relate to program policies about responding to injuries, illnesses, and other emergencies.
Safety & Supervision Standards that relate to general program policies regarding safety and supervision practices.
Safety of Materials & Equipment Standards that relate to program policies specific to the healthy and safe use and maintenance of materials and equipment.
Sleeping Standards that relate to program policies for sleeping and naptime.                                                
Staff Health Standards that relate to health records, required health screenings, and promoting healthy working conditions for program staff.
Toxic & Hazardous Substances Standards that relate to program policies preventing child exposure to toxic and hazardous materials and situations.
Family and Community Partnerships

This category includes standards that relate to the development of program-family relationships and program-community partnerships.
Program & Family Communication Standards that relate to program policies for communication and interaction with parents and families.
Addressing Cultural & Family Needs Standards that relate to a program’s policies to address specific cultural and other special needs of families.
Community Resources & Referrals Standards that relate to a program’s use of community resources and referring families to those resources.
Confidentiality Standards that relate to program policies regarding confidentiality of records and access to child information.
Establishing Community Partnerships Standards that relate to a program’s efforts to develop and sustain relationships and partnerships with community resources (such as organizations, agencies, and other providers.)
Family Education Standards that relate to program policies that support parent and family education.
Home Visits Standards that relate to specific home visiting components of a program (Head Start only)
Parental Involvement Standards that relate to program policies supporting parental involvement in the program.
Recruitment in the Community Standards that relate to a program’s recruitment of children into its program. (Head Start only)
Transition Planning Standards that relate to a program’s policies for helping children and their families transition to other programs and schools.
Children with Special Needs

This category includes standards that specifically relate to the care and education of children with special needs.
Policies Standards that specifically relate to program policies to enroll and serve children with special needs.
Adaptive Learning Environment Standards that relate to program policies to make accommodations to adapt the learning environment to meet the needs of all children in the program.
Developmental Learning Goals & Plans Standards that relate to program policies regarding individual program plans or individual education plans for children with special needs enrolled in the program.
Family & Community Partnerships Standards that relate to the development of partnerships and use of community resources to benefit children with special needs enrolled in the program.
Screening & Assessment Standards that relate to evaluation of children with suspected special needs.
Service Delivery Standards that relate to program policies to provide services to children with special needs.
Transportation

This category includes standards that relate to transportation policies and safety.
Transportation Services & Policies Standards that relate to program policies on transportation of children and the delivery of transportation services for children.
Child Safety Restraints Standards that relate to the use of child safety restraints.
Field Trips Standards that relate to program safety practices during field trips and other outings.
Transportation Supervision & Safety Standards that relate to a program’s policies for the supervision and safety of children while being transported by the program.
Vehicles Standards that relate to program policies and safety specifications of vehicles used to transport children.
Nutrition

This category includes standards that relate to nutrition and food safety.
Meal Preparation & Service Standards that relate to program policies for meal preparation and meal service to children.
Allergies & Other Special Nutrition Needs Standards regarding allergies and other special needs related to meals, nutrition, and foods for children.
Food Storage & Disposal Standards that relate to program policies for the proper storage and disposal of food.
Meal Time & Environment Standards that relate to program policies for meal time practices and the development of the meal time environment for children.
Reporting & Communications Standards that specifically relate to the communication and posting of nutrition information in the program.