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CHILD & YOUTH FRIENDLY Early Childhood Education & School-Age Care

These indicators have been compiled with a grading system to help you and your community think through aspects of child and youth friendliness in each domain. 


A grading system allows you to recognize that (for most of these indicators) there are many steps between 'not at all child and youth friendly' and 'extremely child and youth friendly'. Your community may fall somewhere in the middle on many of the indicators. 


For each indicator, try to grade your community out of 10.

1 being "Not at all child and youth friendly",

5 being "some positive aspects but some changes could be made" and

10 being "We are a leader in child and youth friendly practices".


This is designed to be printed and done communally. 




services are readily available when children and families need them
(no waiting lists)

the range of services offered meet both children’s and parents/guardians’ needs, including services appropriate for children of different ages and cultures and those with special needs and/or gifts and talents

guidelines are universally accessible to ensure high quality, readily available, affordable and culturally appropriate childcare

initiatives are in place to allow access to quality childcare for lower-income families

staff have training on child abuse

staff have training on neglect issues


staff have training on special needs


staff have training on cultural sensitivity

staff and volunteers are carefully screened and trained

the presence of specific staff members and volunteers is relatively constant (they are not temporary or infrequent workers), allowing for children to form secure attachments

strict processes exist for monitoring children’s safety and well-being in these settings, and clear public information is accessible about these policies

all safety and emergency procedures are clear to all staff members and parents/guardians

high quality early care and learning standards

the staff are accountable and involve the parents/guardians by regularly discussing with them any challenges faced or progress made by the children

services that respond to parents/guardians and community aspirations for their children

policies and programs that are welcoming of parents/guardians and encourage them to participate in activities

staff understand how children learn through spontaneous play

staff who can plan appropriately for the successful learning of each and every child

facilities provide a variety of indoor and outdoor play for educational opportunities for children of all ages and abilities

washrooms are child-friendly in that they have lowered sinks and smaller toilets for easy access or stools for children to stand on where appropriate

washrooms are gender neutral

spaces are accessible to all children and youth, including those with disabilities

opportunities are available for older children to be in leadership roles and to act as mentors for the younger children

partnerships and collaborations are initiated between community recreation programs and childcare/education providers

ongoing learning opportunities for early childhood education staff and appropriate support mechanisms and resources

information for parents/guardians on choosing childcare/education services and on the value of play in children’s lives is available in culturally relevant materials and in multiple languages

a regularly distributed newsletter is available for parents/guardians who are interested in learning about recent findings from child development research and new updates on community programs

training is offered for youth who would like to become babysitters/child minders

after-school care programs provide leadership and volunteer opportunities for older children and youth



1- UNFRIENDLY             5- OK                     10-A LEADER




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