Spark Domains & Standards

Spark consists of 33 standards of quality practices divided into 5 categories, or domains. Click the name of each standard to learn more.

Children’s Learning & Development

This is the largest domain containing 12 standards related to children’s learning and development. Included are standards related to the learning environment, curriculum, and interactions between children and adults.

The 12 Standards for the Children’s Learning & Development Domain

  • LD1: The program is guided by a written statement of philosophy.

  • LD2: The program uses a curriculum that supports all children’s learning and development.

  • LD3: The program provides an appropriate indoor environment that supports children’s learning and development and is accessible to all children enrolled in the program.

  • LD4: The program provides appropriate indoor furnishings that support children’s learning and development.

  • LD5: The program provides appropriate and well-maintained outdoor gross motor area with equipment. 

  • LD6: The program uses materials that support children’s learning and development.

  • LD7: The program uses planned curriculum activities that support children’s learning and development. 

  • LD8 The program uses daily routines that support children’s learning and development.

  • LD9: The program uses information from screening and assessment to measure children’s learning and development in order to make referrals and do program planning.

  • LD10: Group size, child-staff ratios, and staffing patterns are appropriate for the children’s age and positively affect children’s emotional development, cognitive development, safety, and health.

  • LD11: The program facilitates and supports appropriate adult-child interactions in the areas of social and emotional support, organization and management of children’s behavior, and instructional support.

  • LD12: The program facilitates and supports children’s positive social and emotional development.

Health & Safety

This domain contains 6 standards related to focuses on children’s health and safety. These include practices and policies encouraging the development of healthy habits, as well as supporting children with special health needs.

The 6 Standards for the Health & Safety Domain

  • HS1: Children are provided instruction and support to independently manage health and hygiene practices.

  • HS2: Children are provided instruction and support on safety rules and expectations.

  • HS3: Healthy eating habits are supported and encouraged.

  • HS4: Healthy fitness habits are supported and encouraged.

  • HS5: Program personnel collaborate with health and related service professionals to address the individual health needs of children as applicable.

  • HS6: Program uses screen time appropriately. Screen time includes all electronic media such as television, video/DVD, electronic games, computers, tablets, smart phones, or any other screened electronic devices.

Personnel Qualifications

The Oregon Registry is used to measure qualifications and ongoing professional development of providers and program staff. 

The 6 Standards for the Personnel Qualifications Domain

  • PQ1: The program’s leader is presently qualified through education, training, and experience.

  • PQ2: The program’s head teacher(s) and teacher(s) are presently qualified to serve in their positions through education, training, and experience.  (Not applicable to Family Child Care Programs)

  • PQ3: The program’s assistant II(s) are presently qualified to serve in their positions through education, training, and experience.

  • PQ4: Program personnel continue to advance their knowledge and skills through participation in training and/or college course credits annually that are part of a professional development plan that will lead to advancement up to Step 10 on the Oregon Registry.

  • PQ5: Program personnel are trained in ethics, professional responsibility, and maintaining confidentiality.

Family Partnerships

This domain focuses on partnerships with families and consists of 4 standards. This domain includes the use of a Spark Family Survey which offers the opportunity to seek feedback from families about the program.

The 4 Standards for the Family Partnerships Domain

  • FP1: The program uses family input and feedback to guide program planning and policy decisions.

  • FP2: The program meets the individual needs of children through mutually respectful,   two-way communication with families.

  • FP3: Families are encouraged to be regular and frequent participants in the program.

  • FP4: The program provides support and information to assist families in meeting their child’s needs and goals.

Administration & Business Practices

This domain consists of 6 standards which focus on good business practices and professionalism which are important not only to stay in business, but to retain staff and reduce turnover.

The 6 Standards for the Administration & Business Practices Domain

  • AB1: The program follows sound business practices, policies, and procedures that support financial sustainability.

  • AB2: The program assures a professional working climate.

  • AB3: Personnel are evaluated on their performance.

  • AB4: The program promotes positive working relationships and professionalism.

  • AB5: A comprehensive program evaluation process is developed and performed on an annual basis. The evaluation examines the program’s policies and procedures, care and education environment, curriculum, and administration and business practices.

  • AB6: Benefits are offered to encourage retention.