Definitions & Acronyms for Child Care

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Created by Elders Care Inc., 11/14/06

CDA: Certification in Child Development Accreditation from NAEYC

CHILD DEV.: Child Development

CPR: Cardio pulmonary resuscitation, a technique useful in many emergencies including heart attacks or
          near drowning. Infants / child CPR is usually required for caregivers

CPS: Child Protection Services

CURR.: Curriculum

CRAWLERS & WALKERS: 8 months - 18 months

DAP: Developmentally Appropriate Practices

DC: Day Care

DOH: Department of Health

DSS: Department of Social Services   

EARLY MONTHS: Infants, 0 - 8 months

INFANTS / BABIES: 0 - 17 months

MAT: Medication Administration Training

MULTI-CULTURAL: A mix of culturally diverse children in a Child Care home or program

NCCIC: National Child Care Information Center

NAEYC: National Association for Education of Young Children

OPEN DOOR POLICY: Ability to enter (Parents & Guardians) Child Care program at anytime.
*Children must be enrolled in Program

OCFS: The State Office of Children and Family Services

PRESCHOOLERS: children ages range from 36 months to 5 yrs

PRE K: 4 - 5 yr. olds

PRIMARY: School Age Children, grades, first, second, and third

PRIMARY CAREGIVER: Each child is given one “primary caregiver” to who she or he can become attached. A child is cared for during daily routines such as, diapering, washing, feeding, dressing etc.

NAFCC: National Association of Family Care Givers

NYC: New York State

OBSERVATIONS: Several types of major observational techniques that early childhood professional use, narratives, anecdotes, modifications checklists, rating scales, etc.

TODDLERS: 18 months - 36 months

QC: Quality Care

SED: State Education Department

SPECIAL EDUCATION: means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education services and programs are provided at no cost to the parent

*Each State has different requirements

Legal 2: A person registers with the regional child care council to care for 2 children in their home.

Family Day Care Homes: The home provider may care for three to six children at a time in their residence. They may add one or two school age children. The maximum allowable number of children depends on whether there are any infants in care. *NYS

Group Family Day Care Homes: Provides care for seven to twelve children at a time in a residence; may add one or two school-age children. The maximum allowable number of children will depend on whether there are and how many infants are in care. A provider must use an assistant when more that six children are present. *NYS

Day Care Centers: Provides care for more than six children at a time, not in personal residence. *NYS

Small Day Care Centers: Provides care for up to six children, not in a personal home. *NYS

School-Age Child Care Programs: Provides care for six children from kindergarten through age twelve. Care for children during non-school hours; also may provide care during school vacation periods and holidays. *NYS

Nursery Schools: Provides care for three hours a day or less. In New York city, the City Department of Health regulates these programs. A nursery school may voluntarily register with the
State Education Department. *NYS

Pre-Kindergartens: Usually located in public schools, but can also be found in private schools or day care
Centers; supervised by the SED. It also refers to the first formal academic classroom - based learning environment that a child customarily attends in the United States. It begins around age 4, its preparation
for didactic and academically intensive kindergarten.

Head Start Centers: Targeted for preschool-age children from low income families; federally funded and usually licensed as Day Care Centers.

Private Schools: Provide care and / education, usually preschool through high school


Montessori: Theorist, Maria Montessori created a teaching method which was based on the theory that
Children learn best by themselves in a properly prepared environment. This is known as the “Self Help”

High Scope: The curriculum is based on Theorist, Jean Piaget’s intellectual development theory and
is an “Open Framework” approach that places both the teacher and the child in active, initiating roles.

Reggio Emilia: The Reggio approach deals with Assumptions; children are capable of higher levels of work than previously thought and Practices; teachers hold deep respect for the strong potential of young children.
The curriculum is from Reggio Emilia, Italy, where children learn about “what’s inside “, “how things work?”, makes a natural starting point for in depth work that integrates art with science, social studies and literacy activity.

Interdisciplinary: Utilizing the 5 senses to learn.

Religious: Church or Group teaches a specific religious belief and integrates this into a daily curriculum.

Private Kindergarten: See Private schools

Parent Cooperative: Preschool is a school formed and controlled by parents for their children. Being
Part of a cooperative means parents have some responsibility for assisting in the program.

Mixed Group: Children of different ages are in the same learning environment or classroom throughout
the school day.

Infant Care: Infants are in a separate area with a primary caregiver.

Back up / Drop off care: Facilities that take sick children for a temporary period of time or Provides care for short period of time while parents have appointments.