By Michelle Mallonee Long
When the Program Quality Assessor provides the four-week window for your facility’s assessments, you are allowed to select up to four black-out dates (days the assessor will not show up for a visit). The assessors need to see a typical day in the classroom (what the children experience on a regular basis).
Therefore, when deciding on the dates to black-out, you may want to start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is the facility closed any days during the assessment window?
- Are there any special events planned (field trips, guest speakers, party days, etc.)?
- Do any of the teachers have planned vacation, PD events, or meetings scheduled?
- If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should select those dates as your black-out dates.
Many directors like to be present throughout all assessments and may select black-out dates around their own schedules in order to be available for moral support. These dates should only be selected after answering the questions above. As long as there is one person designated to assist the assessor upon arrival, the director does not need to be on site.
Some directors like to schedule black-out dates when they know they will not have the opportunity to schedule extra staff. Adding extra staff/floaters to assist with routines may feel like you are supporting your staff by making the day easier for them. However, the addition of extra teachers in the room changes the dynamics for the children and does not offer the assessor to observe what the children typically experience.
Remember, if there is nothing out of the ordinary planned for your facility during the visit window offered you do not need to select any black-out dates.