Raising the Bar
What is Raising the Bar?
Raising the Bar is a program designed to help families ensure their children are receiving high quality early learning and child care services. The presence of a Raising the Bar certificate is a sign that the program is committed to maintaining provincial regulatory standards as well as local community standards. Raising the Bar was developed and introduced in Hamilton, Ontario to promote and support observance of community standards in:
- Licensed, Centre-based Early Learning and Child Care programs
- Licensed School-Age Child Care programs
- Special Needs Resource Agencies
- Licensed Home Child Care Agencies
- Early Learning and Parenting Centres.
Raising the Bar is an Investing In Quality – Early Learning and Child Care Peterborough Community Initiative
Raising the Bar is endorsed and financially supported by the City of Peterborough, Community Services Department, Children’s Services.
Endorsed by the Professional Development Committee
Coordinated and administered by Investing In Quality – Early Learning and Child Care Peterborough Advisory Committee, a Supervisors’ Network Sub-Group.
Information for Operators and Early Childhood Educators
- Participation in Raising the Bar is voluntary.
- There are no annual dues or membership fees.
- ASCY provides free consultation, guidance and resources to support Peterborough’s Raising the Bar participants in observing the community standards and achieving the highest possible Raising the Bar Quality rating.
- Raising the Bar participants submit a program profile for review by the Raising the Bar Coordinating Committee and Peer Review Team.
- Participating programs receive a certificate each year and are encouraged to post it in a visible location.
- For more information, please review the Registration and Letter of Understanding.
There are Three Categories of Standards
1. Quality Assurance
- Quality is monitored through frequent on-site observations (done by the centre itself).
- Parent and/or Caregiver feedback is collected each year.
- Action plans are developed to address areas of need and to plan for improvement.
- In addition to annual provincial licensing reviews and local public health inspections, Raising the Bar programs undergo site visits by Early Childhood Education Consultants (at the end of a three year period to do an on-site Environmental Assessment observation along with the supervisor).
2. Best Practices
- The program offers information for parents and promotes opportunities for community involvement.
- There are detailed policies, procedures and management practices to guide day-to-day operations.
- Specific strategies are in place to support optimal child health and development. Resources and information about child development are provided to parents.
3. Professional Development
The team of Early Years professionals participating in Raising the Bar programs maintain credentials and commit to additional training each year.
- First aid and CPR are kept current.
- Cooks have Food Handlers’ Certificate training.
- All directors and staff attend workshops and conferences to enhance their understanding of early childhood education and care.
- Raising the Bar programs support teacher training through mentor-ship and by providing practical training opportunities for cooperative education students.
Raising the Bar Certificate Levels Through the annual peer review process, a level of achievement is determined for each of the three categories.
- Bronze level programs follow fundamental quality indicators and are also in full compliance with Ontario’s Day Nurseries Act.
- Silver level programs have additional strategies to enhance quality.
- Gold level programs demonstrate a long-term commitment to high quality in early childhood education.
Peterborough’s “Raising the Bar on Quality” Vision for Success:
- All participating Child Care Centres move through the process together and at a pace that ensures enough time and support is given to every centre in order for all to achieve their certificate level at the same time. Competition is eliminated and cooperation is encouraged.
- The community establishes networking groups to help centres achieve their Raising the Bar goals.
- An increase in professional development opportunities for all levels of Early Years professionals.
- A project coordinator is available for one-on-one meetings with Child Care Centres to help them achieve their certification.
- A mentoring program is established to ensure new graduates and newcomers to the area are informed and prepared to offer the high quality child care standards set by your centre and the community.
- Parents are more involved in their child’s child care program.
- Child Care Centres have experience developing action plans to identify centre needs, and to seek funding or support to make changes.