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Playground Safety & Children’s Outdoor Experience Laura Hunt Trull Virginia Grantee Performance Support Specialist PowerPoint Presentation
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Playground Safety & Children’s Outdoor Experience Laura Hunt Trull Virginia Grantee Performance Support Specialist Learning Objectives Participants will be well versed on the Head Start Performance Standards and Consumer Product Safety Commission playground safety regulations.

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Playground Safety &

Children’s Outdoor Experience

Laura Hunt Trull

Virginia Grantee Performance Support Specialist

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Participants will be well versed on the Head Start Performance Standards and Consumer Product Safety Commission playground safety regulations.
  • Participants will be able to conduct efficient and effective outdoor space inspections.
  • Participants will have a strengthened understanding of the facilitated learning that can take place in safe outdoor settings.
head start performance standards
Head Start Performance Standards

Center-based, Home-based, Family Child Care and EHS

  • 1304.21(a)(5) In center-based settings, grantee and delegate agencies must promote each child's physical development by: (i) Providing sufficient time, indoor and outdoor space, equipment, materials and adult guidance for active play and movement that support the development of gross motor skills
  • 1304.21(a)(6) In home-based settings, grantee and delegate agencies must encourage parents to appreciate the importance of physical development, provide opportunities for children's outdoor and indoor active play, and guide children in the safe use of equipment and materials.
  • 1306.35(a) (3) Program Space-indoor and outdoor. Ensure that each family child care home has sufficient in-door and outdoor space which is usable and available to children. This space must be adequate to al-low children to be supervised and safely participate in developmentally appropriate activities and routines that foster their cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development, including both gross and fine motor. Family child care settings must meet State family child care regulations.
  • 1304.53(a) (4) The indoor and outdoor space in Early Head Start or Head Start centers in use by mobile infants and toddlers must be separated from general walk-ways and from areas in use by preschoolers.
head start performance standards4
Head Start Performance Standards

Safety and Curriculum

  • 1304.53(a) (5) Centers must have … at least 75 square feet of usable outdoor play space per child.
  • 1304.53(a) (9) Outdoor play areas at center-based programs must be arranged so as to prevent any child from leaving the premises and getting into unsafe and unsupervised areas. Enroute to play areas, children must not be exposed to vehicular traffic without supervision.
  • 1304.53(a)(10) Grantee and delegate agencies must conduct a safety inspection, at least annually, to ensure that each facility's space, light, ventilation, heat, and other physical arrangements are consistent with the health, safety and developmental needs of children. At a minimum, agencies must ensure that: (viii) Indoor and outdoor premises are cleaned daily and kept free of undesirable and hazardous materials and conditions; (x) The selection, layout, and maintenance of playground equipment and surfaces minimize the possibility of injury to children;
  • 1304.21(c)(1) Grantee and delegate agencies, in collaboration with the parents, must implement a curriculum (see 45 CFR 1304.3(a)(5)) that: (vii) Provides individual and small group experiences both indoors and outdoors.
  • 1304.52(g) (5) Staff must supervise the outdoor and indoor play areas in such a way that children's safety can be easily monitored and ensured.
additional head start regulations
Additional Head Start Regulations
  • Program Instruction 07-02
    • All Head Start grantees and delegate agencies are expected to comply with applicable State, Tribal, or local codes governing playground equipment and surfaces where children are present.  Public school or public playgrounds used by Head Start programs must comply with all safety requirements prescribed by applicable local laws.  In those cases where there is no applicable code, regulation, or requirement, in order to comply with 45 CFR §§1304.53 (a)(7) and 1304.53 (a)(10)(x), grantees and delegate agencies are expected to meet the minimum specifications described in the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Handbook for Public Playground Safety , (Chapter 4.5) as such describes the minimum requirements of various surfacing materials to avoid risk of injury to children. 
additional head start regulations6
Additional Head Start Regulations
  • OHS – PC – B – 032What is the Office of Head Start's stance on having the children go outside everyday, even in weather that is really cold or hot?
  • The Head Start Program Performance Standard (1304.21(a)(5)(i)) requires that grantees provide "sufficient time, indoor and outdoor space, equipment, materials and adult guidance... [to] support the development of gross motor skills". There is not sufficient space in most classrooms for the types of equipment, materials and experiences that children need in the area of gross motor development and, therefore, most programs will need to take their children outdoors regularly. The decision about how frequently and for how long children play outside and the decision about whether on certain days children should stay indoors is one local programs need to make. Grantees are encouraged to establish policies on extreme heat and cold thresholds and on such health risks as lightning or poor air quality. Grantees should consider that some children; i.e. an asthmatic child, may have different needs in terms of, for example, air quality than other children in the program and individual children’s needs should be appropriately addressed.Informal GuidanceAugust 8, 2007
code of virginia 63 2 1715
Code of Virginia §63.2-1715
  • § 63.2-1715. Exemptions from licensure.
  • A. The following child day programs shall not be required to be licensed:
  • 7. Education and care programs provided by public schools that are not exempt pursuant to subdivision A 6 shall be regulated by the State Board of Education using regulations that incorporate, but may exceed, the regulations for child day centers licensed by the Commissioner.
virginia child care licensing standards
Virginia Child Care Licensing Standards
  • 22 VAC 15-30-340. Building maintenance.
    • A. Areas and equipment of the center, inside and outside, shall be maintained in a clean, safe and operable condition. Unsafe conditions shall include, but not be limited to, splintered, cracked or otherwise deteriorating wood; chipped or peeling paint; visible cracks, bending or warping, rusting or breakage of any equipment; head entrapment hazards; and protruding nails, bolts or other components that could entangle or snag skin.
  • 22 VAC 15-30-380. Areas.
    • E. When children are on the outdoor play area, at least 75 square feet of space per child shall be provided at any one time.
    • F. Centers licensed for the care of infants and toddlers shall provide a separate playground area for these children that has at least 25 square feet of unpaved surface per infant/toddler on the outdoor area at any one time. This space may be counted as part of the 75 square feet required in subsection B of this section.
virginia child care licensing standards9
Virginia Child Care Licensing Standards
  • 22 VAC 15-30-410. Play areas.
    • A. Playgrounds shall be located and designed to protect children from hazards.
    • B. Where playground equipment is provided, resilient surfacing shall comply with minimum safety standards when tested in accordance with the procedures described in the American Society for Testing and Materials standard F1292-99 as shown in Figures 2 (Compressed Loose Fill Synthetic Materials Depth Chart) and 3 (Use Zones for Equipment) on pages 6-7 of the National Program for Playground Safety’s “Selecting Playground Surface Materials: Selecting the Best Surface Material for Your Playground,” February 2004, and shall be under equipment with moving parts or climbing apparatus to create a fall zone free of hazardous obstacles. Fall zones are defined as the area underneath and surrounding equipment that requires a resilient surface. A fall zone shall encompass sufficient area to include the child's trajectory in the event of a fall while the equipment is in use. Fall zones shall not include barriers for resilient surfacing. Where steps are used for accessibility, resilient surfacing is not required.
virginia child care licensing standards10
Virginia Child Care Licensing Standards
  • 22 VAC 15-30-410. Play areas.
    • C. Ground supports shall be covered with materials that protect children from injury.
    • D. Swing seats shall be constructed with flexible material.
      • 1. Exceptions: Nonflexible molded swing seats may be used only in a separate infant or toddler play area.
      • 2. Swings made specifically for a child with a special need shall be permitted in any area as long as a staff member is positioned to see and protect other children who might walk into the path of the swing.
    • E. Sandboxes with bottoms which prevent drainage shall be covered when not in use.
    • F. A shady area shall be provided on playgrounds during the months of June, July, and August.
virginia child care licensing standards11
Virginia Child Care Licensing Standards
  • 22 VAC 15-30-461. Daily activities for infants.
    • There shall be a flexible daily schedule for infants based on their individual needs. During the day, infants shall be provided with:
      • 3. Outdoor time if weather and air quality allow based upon the Air Quality Color Chart as provided by the Department of Environmental Quality.
  • 22 VAC 15-30-471. Daily activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
    • A. There shall be a posted daily schedule that allows for flexibility as children's needs require. The daily schedule need not apply on days occupied a majority of the time by a field trip or other special event. The daily schedule shall include opportunities for:
      • 1. Outdoor activity, weather and air quality allowing, for at least:
        • a. Fifteen minutes per day or session if the center operates up to three hours per day or session;
        • b. Thirty minutes per day or session if the center operates between three and five hours per day or session; or
        • c. One hour per day or session if the center operates more than five hours per day or session.
virginia child care licensing standards12
Virginia Child Care Licensing Standards
  • 22 VAC 15-30-500. Equipment and materials.
    • C. Play equipment used by children shall meet the following requirements:
      • 1. Openings above the ground or floor which allow a 3 ½ inch by 6 ¼ inch rectangle to fit through shall also allow a nine-inch circle to fit through;
      • 2. S-hooks where provided may not be open more than the thickness of a penny; and
      • 3. Have no protrusions, sharp points, shearing points, or pinch points.
    • D. The unenclosed climbing portion of slides and climbing equipment used by toddlers and preschool children shall not be more than seven feet high and must be located over resilient surfacing where outdoors, and shall not be more than five feet high where indoors.
    • E. Centers may not install after June 1, 2005 any slide or climbing equipment to be used by preschoolers or toddlers when the climbing portion of the equipment is more than six feet in height.
playgrounds can be confusing
Playgrounds can be confusing!
  • Key Safety Points
    • 2006 PRISM Checklist – not very thorough
    • Size – Head Start and Licensing agree on 75 square feet per child
    • Time – outdoor time built into the daily schedule, weather and air quality permitting
    • Resilient surfacing – PI 07-02 References the 1997 Handbook; there is a 2008 updated Handbook with the same resilient surfacing requirements.
    • Daily Cleaning
    • Safety Inspections
common monitoring findings
Common Monitoring Findings
  • Resilient Surfacing
  • Daily Cleaning of indoor and outdoor spaces
  • S Hooks
consumer product safety commission
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Handbook for Public Playground Safety (HEAD START)

national program for playground safety
National Program for Playground Safety

Selecting Playground Surface Materials (LICENSING)

resilient surfacing
Resilient Surfacing

Head Start and Child Care Licensing - COMBINED

  • Pea Gravel (yellow)
    • Head Start – 9 inches of compressed pea gravel can occupy a use zone for equipment 5-6 feet high
    • Licensing – 9 inches of pea gravel can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 5 feet high
  • Sand (pink)
    • Head Start – 9 inches of compressed sand can occupy a use zone for equipment 4-5 feet high
    • Licensing – 9 inches of sand can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 8 feet high
  • Wood Chips (blue)
    • Head Start – 9 inches of compressed wood chips can occupy a use zone for equipment 7-10 feet high
    • Licensing – 9 inches of wood chips can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 8 feet high
resilient surfacing19
Resilient Surfacing

Head Start and Child Care Licensing - COMBINED

  • Shredded Rubber (purple)
    • Head Start – 6 inches of shredded rubber can occupy a use zone for equipment 10-12 feet high
    • Licensing – 6 inches of shredded rubber can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 8 feet high
  • Engineered Wood Fiber (green)
    • Head Start – 9 inches of compressed engineered wood fiber can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 6 feet high
    • Licensing – 9 inches of engineered wood fiber can occupy a use zone for equipment up to 8 feet high
  • No comparable data on poured-in-place or rubber mats
  • Each handbook defines each type of resilient surfacing differently – do you know the difference between wood chips, mulch and engineered wood fibers?
  • Preschoolers should not have equipment above 7 feet or slides above 6 feet.
cleaning
Cleaning
  • Daily Cleaning Required
  • FY 2010 Monitoring Protocol
cleaning21
Cleaning
  • Best Practice
    • Daily indoor cleaning checklist completed by person tasked with cleaning
    • Daily indoor inspection by classroom staff including review of completed checklist from previous day
    • Daily outdoor cleaning checklist completed by person tasked with cleaning
    • Daily outdoor inspection by classroom staff including review of completed checklist from previous day
    • Items needing urgent attention identified by staff and process in place for follow-up
    • Monthly review of completed checklists by Supervisor
    • Non-emergency items needing follow-up noted and either completed or plan developed
    • Accident/injury reports analyzed and compared to urgent and non-emergency items requiring follow-up
    • Semi-annual inspections by Supervisor
    • Facilities review included in self-assessment and development of program goals.
safety inspections
Safety Inspections
  • Annual Inspections Required
  • Many examples and samples:
    • CSPC Handbook Checklist (Appendix A) – good for routine inspections – one page
    • Training Guides for the Head Start Learning Community (Appendix 2) – extremely thorough, encompasses indoor and outdoor
    • National Program for Playground Safety Maintenance Checklist – “Report card” format
safety inspections23
Safety Inspections

FY 2010 Monitoring Protocol

safety inspections24
Safety Inspections
  • Your Playground Inspection Kit Includes:
    • 9 inch circle (large head)
    • 3.5 x 6.2 inch cutout (preschool torso)
    • Ruler (measuring surfacing, slide chute height)
    • Penny (S-hook measure)
    • Sandpaper (for splitered or rough wood)
    • Pencil
    • Plastic bag for trash
    • Handy-dandy tote bag
children s outdoor experience
Children’s Outdoor Experience
  • Head Start is not separate content areas, it is a Venn Diagram of overlap and blending
  • Facilities Managers that are well-versed on children’s outdoor learning experiences create better facilities
  • Teachers that are well-versed on playground regulations create better outdoor experiences for children
what children learn outdoors
What Children Learn Outdoors

From the Creative Curriculum Chapter 16

  • Literacy
    • Vocabulary and language – describing what they see
    • Understanding of books – connecting books to the outdoor world
    • Phonological awareness – jump rope rhyming games and animal or street sounds
    • Print and letter words – traffic signs or notes to the custodian
  • Mathematics
    • Problem solving – what can we do to keep the balls from going over the fence?
    • Number concepts – counting games – Mother May I? and hopscotch
    • Patterns and relationships – follow the leader or pattern dots on a bug
    • Geometry and spatial relationships – using ‘over’ ‘under’ or ‘next to’ as children climb on the equipment
    • Data collection, organization and representation – classifying the objects they find
    • Measurement and graphing – using string or yardsticks to measure the plants or distance between structures
  • Social Studies
    • Spaces and geography – talk about distance or map the playground
    • People and how they live – what stores you see or what different houses look like
    • People and the environment – learn about pollution or littering
what children learn outdoors33
What Children Learn Outdoors

From the Creative Curriculum Chapter 16

  • Science
    • Process skills – ask questions and encourage children to be good observers
    • Physical science – water play or balls with ramps
    • Life science – stocking bird feeders or listening to their heart before and after a running race
    • Earth and environment – learn about plants native to the area
  • The Arts
    • Dance and music – bring music outside and encourage children to move their bodies
    • Visual arts – chalk drawing or water painting
  • Technology
    • Awareness of people and technology – what machines do they see outside - trucks, phone lines, pipes
    • Technology tools – provide binoculars, microscopes, magnifying glasses, pulleys or cameras for children to use outdoors
strengthening outdoor experiences
Strengthening Outdoor Experiences

BRAINSTORM: What ways can you improve the outdoor experiences of children in your program? What are you doing right that you’d like to share?

links
Links
  • Performance Standards
  • Childcare Licensing Standards
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission Handbook for Playground Safety
  • Head Start Design Guide
  • National Program for Playground Safety
contact
Contact

Questions? Thank you!

Laura Hunt Trull

Virginia Grantee Performance Support Specialist

540-623-4287

LTRULL@icfi.com