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Active Supervision


NOCAC staff utilizes Active Supervision strategies to ensure the safety of children at all times.



Active Supervision requires staff to focus attention and intentionally observe children at all times with face to name recognition. Staff positions themselves so children are within sight and hearing at all times. Staff anticipates children’s actions and is vigilant about child safety indoors, outdoors, during special events, transitions and when children are arriving at or leaving the center.


  1. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds/gym will be set up to optimize the supervision of children at all times.
  2. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds will be clutter free and provide clear play spaces.
  3. Classroom doors will be shut when children are present.
    1. Staff will close the door by pulling/pushing with their hand when leaving a room after scanning for children.
  4. Exterior doors will be locked and/or monitored at all times.
  5. Playground gates will be closed and latched at all times (they must be unlocked while children are present on the playground).
  6. Buses must be locked at all times when not in use and the “Bus Checked, No children left on bus” sign must be displayed in the back window of the bus.
  7. When children use a restroom not in the classroom, NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start Staff will escort children to and from the restroom. Children will be within sight and hearing distance of the staff at all times.
    1. Staff will follow the Classroom Transition Policy at all times.
  8. Staff purses (or other personal belongings) may not be stored anywhere in the classrooms or anywhere accessible to children.
  9. No adult conversation or sharing personal information during class time. Staff should be actively involved with the children during all parts of the day. Please keep this in mind when talking with parents and other professionals as well. Prepare all materials that you will need throughout the day ahead of time. Focus all of your attention on the children during class time rather than completing staff duties (cleaning up, paperwork, phone calls, organizing activities, etc.)
  10. Staff’s priority for child safety will be evident at all times:
    1. Staff will not engage one another in conversations that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques. (for example: personal conversations, sharing confidential information, discussing behaviors, etc)
    2. Staff will respectfully redirect parents, visitors, volunteers, and other staff that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques.
    3. Staff will not make or receive personal phone calls, use cell phones or blue tooth devices when children are present.
    4. Staff will not permit personal visitors into the classroom during school hours.


  1. The Center Manager will complete a diagram of the site playground and divide it into two to three zones depending on the size of the playground. Staff will position themselves into their zone so as to have active supervision of every child in their zone.
  2. The zone diagram will be posted in the classroom and in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  3. Staff plan which zones they will supervise in each environment and anticipate the need to communicate with one another across zones to ensure child safety.
  4. Staff moves within their zones and interact with children during free play while keeping a direct line of supervision at all times.
  5. Staff stays close to children who may need additional support.
  6. See Transition from bus to center procedure for additional information.
    1. The bus transition location map will be in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  7. During naptime, staff must position cots to assure that children can be seen at all times.
  8. Staff should remain next to the classroom door until it is completely shut.


  1. Staff will continuously scan the entire environment and watch/count children frequently to ensure the safety of children using face to name recognition.
  2. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Transition Policy.
  3. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Attendance Policy.
  4. Staff will only release children to adults listed on the ODJFS 01234 Child Enrollment and Health Form and the Authorized Pick Up list.


  1. Staff will account for all children in their care at all times:
    1. Sight
      1. Lighting will be bright enough to clearly see the children at all times, even during nap time.
      2. Staff will move when needed to ensure a direct line of sight.
    2. Sound
      1. Staff will listen for sound or the absence of sounds that may signify reason for concern.


  1. Staff will use their long-term knowledge (e.g. interests, abilities, activity level) of children as well as developing information (e.g. illness, allergies, lack of sleep or food) to anticipate children’s behavior and actions.
      1. Holding a child’s hand that is known to run off
      2. Knowing staff roles when a child becomes ill on the bus or in the classroom
      3. Knowing the behavior plan for aggressive children


  1. Staff will positively engage and redirect children when they are unable to solve problems on their own while using Conscious Discipline techniques.
    1. Time out will not be used in any circumstance.
  2. Staff will teach children the appropriate and safe use of materials and equipment.
  3. Staff will create and post Classroom Safety Rules in their classroom environment.


  1. Staff will be trained annually, at a minimum, on this policy.
  2. New staff will be trained according to the new hire orientation plan, beginning on the first day of employment and reinforced throughout the first 90 days of employment.
  3. Future monitoring results from the Center Manager will determine the need for additional group, small group or individualized training.


  1. All classrooms with veteran staff will be formally monitored using the NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool  the first two months the program is in session and as needed thereafter. Classrooms with new staff will be monitored each month. The NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool also covers active supervision on the bus.
  2. If action is needed, a plan and follow-up will be documented on the Active Supervision Corrective Action Plan by the Center Manager.
  3. The completed monitoring forms will be placed in a file at each center.


  1. Incidents of unsupervised children are considered a “Serious Risk Non-Compliance” per ODJFS and will be reported immediately to the Center Manager and the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director.
  2. When applicable, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be notified.
  3. The Center Manager will report the Serious Risk Non-Compliance incident to ODJFS Day Care Licensing using the OCLQS website following ODJFS rule 5101:2-12-16(G)
  4. The Head Start Regional Office will be notified by the Head Start/ECE Director within three days of the incident, including where applicable, any reports made or information shared with child welfare agencies, state licensing bodies and parents.

Staff will report active supervision policy failures immediately to their supervisor. Supervisors will immediately report these issues to the Head Start/ECE Director and the Health and Safety Manager within 24 hours. Failure to report may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-19
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   7/11/16 Reviewed Date:   6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   7/11/16 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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