L.B.J. & C. Head Start Self-Assessment Checklist for Community Members/Parents
L.B.J. & C. Head Start is conducting this checklist as part of our annual self-assessment process. Parent, Family and Community perspectives are essential to this process. Please take a few moments of time to assist us in maintaining our commitment to high quality services.


Directions: Score next to the item if it is being done and can be confirmed by observation, interview, or written documentation.


For the following items use a rating of:

0--Can't tell
1--No, not in center
2--Somewhat
3--Yes, center has
Name of person completing checklist
Your answer
Affiliation with Head Start program
Your answer
Name of Head start Center *
Floors are clean and have nonskid covering *
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The center is clean. *
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The center has adequate lighting, heat, and ventilation. *
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
An alternative exit for fire is available.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers are available and in working order throughout the center.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Childcare license and other certifications are up-to-date and in visible location.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
No Smoking is allowed on Head Start premises.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Chemicals and medications are out of reach or locked up.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Electrical outlets are covered with safety plugs.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Toys and equipment are in good repair, with no sharp edges, splinters, or loose parts.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
At least one adult in the center has first-aid training. (Should have proof of training)
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
First-aid supplies are available.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Each child has an individual space to store coats and belongings, such as a cubby, box, coat hook, or drawer.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Space is available and conducive for quiet naptime.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
A clean mat is available for each napping child and set up at least 18 inches apart.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Outdoor play area has a soft surface, (mulch) for playing.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Outdoor play area is safe, fenced, and litter-free.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The center is homey, warm, cheerful, and inviting.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Enough caregivers are with the children so that individual attention can be given if needed. For example, an upset child can be held, talked to, etc.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
You can see caregivers communicating effectively with children - explaining in clear steps what they want the children to do, answering children's questions patiently, frequently kneeling down to the child's eye level when talking.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Children appear happy, comfortable, and relaxed - laughing, smiling, involved in play.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Children enjoy one another - smile at each other, hold hands, hug, help each other more than they fight or argue.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers seem warm and affectionate with the children, smiling and speaking pleasantly.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers use children's first names when talking to or about them. Caregivers do not refer to children by unpleasant names, such as "smarty," "brat," etc.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers are seen working and playing with the children more than standing back and directing or ordering them around.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The Daily Sign-in and Sign-out Book is being used.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers encourage children to do some things for themselves, patiently giving time and help and praise so that the child can learn to master the skill, such as getting a drink alone, washing hands, putting away a coat or toy.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The caregivers are people you would like your child to copy or imitate. In other words, children are apt to "do as caregivers do, more than as they say."
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Lesson Plans are present and being followed.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Attractive and well-written story and picture books are available for the children.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers encourage listening and talking through planned activities like storytelling, word games, puppetry, doll play, and show and tell.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Children can get at least some materials by themselves and are encouraged to take care of and put away materials.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
There are enough toys and materials so that each child can participate without having to wait more than a few minutes.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
For at least part of the day, children can choose what they want to do, either individually or in small groups.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Caregivers encourage both boys and girls to play with all the materials - such as climbing and riding toys, dress-up clothes, tools, dolls, cars, and trucks. Caregivers do not give children the idea that a certain activity is only for boys or only for girls.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Children have the opportunity to use creative materials, such as paint, crayons, big blank pieces of paper rather than coloring books, paste, clay or play dough, scissors, and pencils.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The children's artwork is displayed in the center at the children’s eye level and is also sent home for parents.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Three or more of the following are available for the children's use: large and small riding toys, pull toys, pounding toys, beads for stringing, puzzles, small and large blocks, nested toys, small building toys like Lego’s, dress-up clothes, dolls.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The outdoor play area has three or more of the following: cartons or blocks for building, sandbox with sand toys, low slide, riding toys, balance beam, climbing toys.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Children are in small enough groups within the center so that the children appear to be secure and "at home" rather than lost in a crowd.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Meal and snack menus are posted so that parents know what the children are eating at the center.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The menus are nutritious and contain a variety of foods.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
Mealtimes are pleasant and relaxed. Children are not forced, but encouraged to try unfamiliar foods.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The caregivers use positive guidance methods and are consistent and fair with the children.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
The center has a bulletin board for parents and posts the program schedule and other messages.
Can't tell
Yes, the center has
YOUR COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS 1. Overall, how do you feel about this center?
Your answer
2. Overall, how would your child feel about this place?
Your answer
If you have a lot of items on the checklist with 0 points because you were not able to tell, then this will lower the overall score a lot. In this case, look at how you scored the rest of the items. If most of your other scores are "3's", then this could be a very good center despite the fact that the total score is lower than it should be. Above all, trust your own judgment and feeling about a center.
Thank you for participating in L.B.J. & C. Head Start Self Assessment process.
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