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Not Just a Note: Critical Information for Using the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care

Policies and Procedure – young boy with stack of two office bind

By: Robyn Kelton

Those familiar with the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) know that each item in the BAS is comprised of two pages: Notes Page and Scale Page. The Scale Page serves multiple purposes from education on best practices to formal assessment of quality practices. The information provided on the Notes Page is equally important; it is more than “just a note.”

Indicators on the Scale Page are occasionally followed by one or more asterisks (*) which tells the reader to look to the matching asterisk(s) on the Notes Page for more information. There, below the asterisk lies an extraordinary resource. You see, under the asterisks on the Notes Page you will find added detail about exactly what an indicator requires in order to receive credit and/or examples that could meet requirements. All of this is information that would never fit on the Scale Page, but still plays a critical role. Let’s take a look at Item 7, Provider-Family Communication for some examples.

Indicators 1.2-5.2 in this item consider the number of written program policies provided to families.

And, each of the indicators has an asterisk after it (Talan & Bloom, 2018). The matching asterisks on the Notes Page lists 15 written program policies that may be given to families.

Notes Page lists like this are a great tool! Not only do they allow the provider to take inventory of which written policies they already provide to families, but also to explore new possibilities. For example, if a provider has been challenged in the past by children arriving in open-toed shoes not suitable for outside play, that provider might read “items families must provide (e.g., diapers, formula, extra clothing)” under the asterisk on the Notes Page and get the idea to add a policy about children needing closed-toe shoes in their handbook (Talan & Bloom, 2018, p. 20).

In Item 7, Indicator 3.3 states “after a child is enrolled, an intake form is used to document background information about the child and family **” (Talan & Bloom, 2018, p. 21). The double asterisk tells the reader to look at the information provided under the matching asterisks on the Notes Page. The corresponding note indicates specific information that must be collected on an intake form(s) in order to receive credit for indicator 3.3.

After years of conducting and reviewing BAS assessments, I can tell you that oftentimes providers do not have everything listed. More specifically, what is most often missing from the intake form is the very first item listed under the double asterisk: information about the child’s developmental history. At first glance this might not seem significant, but as we think about supporting children’s whole development it makes sense to want to know how that development has progressed so far, right? For example, what if a child was late to roll over and crawl? In this example, knowing the child’s previous developmental history means motor development is already on the provider’s radar. This allows the provider to be intentional about implementing daily activities to better support the specific child’s motor development and it may remind the provider to share resources with the family about developmental stages, and to seek outside support, if needed.

The BAS always reminds me of the phrase, “when we know better, we do better” and while the Scale Pages provide a wealth of information about best practices, the Notes Pages are not to be ignored. They provide additional details that allow the reader to determine what specific criteria need to be met to receive credit for an indicator. In addition, the Notes Pages serve as a resource and provide suggestions to help providers operate their businesses as smoothly as possible. When it comes to the BAS, the Notes Page is anything but “just a note.”

References
Talan, T.T. & Bloom, P.J. (2018) Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (2nd ed.). New York: NY: Teachers College Press.

Robyn Kelton, M.A., is a Quality Training Specialist for the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University. Robyn conducts training and research on the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) and the Program Administration Scale (PAS) and serves as a national reliability anchor for both tools. In addition, Robyn reviews BAS and PAS assessments for the assessor certification system. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a Masters of Arts degree in Psychology with an advanced certificate of study in Organizational Psychology from National Louis University. Robyn is currently a doctoral student in the cognitive and brain sciences psychology program at the University of Kansas. Prior to joining the McCormick Center, Robyn spent three years as a lead teacher in a kindergarten classroom for an after-school program. Robyn is co-author of the report, Who’s Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois—2008.

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