Standards should be concrete and observable sets of indicators which describe what good practice means in terms of outcomes for the child, how a service should be delivered, and the actions required by staff. They should be guided by the rights and best interests of the child, the preservation of the family, and the promotion of the child’s development.
Standards of care should be in line with national child care and protection policies, and reflect international standards for children’s rights. The development, monitoring and evaluation of standards should be participatory, and reflect the views of children and families who are using the services.
Standards should give indicators relating to all aspects of child care from the child’s physical and emotional well-being to staff and organisational procedures. This includes the child’s diet, access to health and education, and play and recreational facilities. Standards should outline the methods of care and control, and ensure that services are accessible and promote the child’s health. Standards should specify the rights of children to privacy, informed choices, dignity and respect. Standards relating to staff should include recruitment and selection procedures, regular supervision, support, and training. Procedural standards include the maintenance of records, respect for confidentiality, and accountability mechanisms.
The literature in this section focuses on examples of organisational standards for child care provision.