Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting


NOCAC staff are, by law, mandated child abuse/neglect reporters.


  1. Confidentiality is expected. Staff at all sites is on a need to know basis.
  2. All employees must follow proper procedures of reporting child abuse and neglect.
  3. Failure to follow proper procedures will result in disciplinary action.
  4. Failure to report could also lead to a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and being held liable for civil damages.
  5. Step by step procedures to be followed by all staff when suspecting child abuse/neglect.
    1. Ask (ONLY if necessary) the child what happened using open ended questions. After the child responds, if it is suspicious and you suspect abuse or neglect, you must make a report. Remember not to question the child too much.
    2. DOCUMENT all information on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. When reporting a concern regarding a child, be sure to have all needed information available including:
      1. name and address of the child you suspect is being abused or neglected
      2. date of birth and age of child
      3. name and address of parent or caretaker
      4. name of person suspected who is abusing or neglecting the child
      5. reason for suspicions
      6. other significant information
      7. your name, work address, and place of employment (as a mandated reporter, you may not report anonymously).
    3. CALL Department of Job and Family Services in the county the child resides. Ask if they want a written copy of the report. If they do not, document it on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. Document the name of the caseworker receiving your report.
    4. CALL the NOCAC Head Start Director regarding the report you filed.
      1. If the Director is not available contact the NOCAC Executive Director.
      2. DO NOT leave a voicemail or send an email.
      3. It is important to remember, staff are not calling for permission to report, instead to inform of a situation with the family. 
    5. INFORM the FSS in your county about the report.
    6. SEND the completed form to the Family and Community Engagement Manager at the NOCAC Central Office.
  6. If a NOCAC staff suspects a fellow staff member of child abuse/neglect or witnesses an incident they are required to report to the proper authorities and follow these steps:
    1. Follow #5 a-d above.
    2. The Head Start/ECE Director will represent our program in discussions with the child’s family.
    3. Complete a JFS 01299 “Incident/Injury Report” for the parent to sign.
    4. The Center Manager or Head Start Director must follow the procedure as written in ODJFS 5101:2-12-16(G). Follow procedure for Incident/Injury Reporting of a Serious Risk.



Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47(b)(5)(i)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-19(D)   5101:2-12-16(G)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:   3.4.4
Other Sources:   Ohio Revised Code, Section 2151.421
Effective Date: 8/7/17 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:

ODJFS Orientation Training


All new NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start employees will complete the prescribed ODJFS Orientation Training within thirty days of hire.


  1. ODJFS requires all child care staff members to complete the prescribed training within 30 days of hire.
    1. The training can be found on the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) website.
    2. Log in to the website using your O-PIN number.
    3. Click “Find Training” and search for Child Care Center Orientation Training.
    4. Select training by clicking on the title.
    5. Click “Add to Cart”.
    6. On the top of the screen (in a red box) it will show “1 – item”.
    7. Select “View Cart” from the drop down menu.
    8. Once you are on the “Shopping Cart” tab, click “Check-out”.
    9. You will get a message that you have successfully registered.
    10. To view the training, return to the dashboard by selecting “Profile” under your name at the top right corner of the screen.
    11. Your training will appear on the profile page. Click the title of the training and then select “Access Training” to begin.
  2. ODJFS defines a child care staff member as follows
    1. “Any adult employed by a child care center who is responsible for the care and supervision of children.”
      1. This includes bus monitors.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   5101:2-12-08(D)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date: 8/7/17 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Required Safety Trainings


Each Child Development center shall have at least one staff member on-site (in each building) during all hours of operation who is currently trained in First Aid, CPR, Management of Communicable Disease, and Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention.




Child Abuse & Neglect

Every NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start administrator, child care staff member, including substitutes, shall be current with the ODJFS prescribed one-hour child abuse overview which is valid for two years. This shall be taken with the first sixty days of hire.

1)   NOCAC staff will be trained on NOCAC specific procedures at hire by the Family and Community Engagement Manager during the new hire orientation process. A copy of the Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Policy & Procedures will be distributed to the staff person at this time.

2)   NOCAC staff may be required to renew online with ODJFS if the 6 hour Child Abuse and Neglect recognition training if it has not been offered prior to the expiration of online coursework.

3)   NOCAC HS/EHS staff certified with the 6 hour class will complete the refresher every three years thereafter.

First Aid & CPR

NOCAC HS/EHS staff will also become certified in First Aid & CPR

1)   Buses must have a First Aid/CPR certified adult on each route.

2)   These trainings must be completed as time permits unless required to meet ratio at which time the supervisor will work with First Aid/CPR instructors to schedule a class.

3)   First Aid/CPR classes will be offered multiple times throughout the program year.

First Aid/CPR instructors

1)   Instructors must be the lead instructor at least one time every two years.

2)   Instructors must be the co-instructor at least one time every two years. They should also register for the class at this time to ensure they remain updated.

3)   It is the instructor’s responsibility to maintain active instructor status and follow all obligations per Red Cross rules.

Common Childhood Illness (CCI)

NOCAC HS/EHS staff will become certified in Common Childhood Illness

1)   All sites will have a staff person trained in CCI on the premises at all times.

2)   Trainings must be completed as time permits unless required to meet ratio.

3)   Online classes can be scheduled and must be completed within six months from purchase of the online class. Supervisors may assign an earlier due date as needed.

It is the responsibility of each staff member and Supervisor to maintain status of all safety trainings and renewal dates.

Trainings shall meet course and trainer requirements in Appendix A.

Audiovisual or electronic media training shall not be used to meet the CPR training requirement unless there is also an in-person component of the training.



Forms and Additional Guidance:


This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.92, 1302.47 (b) (4)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:  

5101:2-12-10 (A) (1) (a,b,c,d) (2) (3,4)

Appendix A– Health Training Courses

Appendix B– Professional Development Training Topics

CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:   NOCAC Head Start Policies & Procedures- Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting
Effective Date: 8/7/17 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Smoke and Toxin Free Environment


NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) will provide a center-based environment free of toxins, such as cigarette smoke, lead, herbicides, and other air pollutants as well as soil and water contaminants.


  1. NOCAC HS/EHS employees, volunteers and visitors are prohibited from the use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs in all the buildings on the grounds and in any NOCAC Vehicles used by the program.
  2. No child will be present during the spraying of pesticides or herbicides. Children will not return to the affected areas until it is deemed safe.
  3. All buildings will be tested for “Radon” levels per the Radon Policy.
  4. At least one carbon monoxide detector will be on each floor of every NOCAC Head Start Center.
    1. The County Manager (or designee) will test the detector monthly and document it on the Monthly Safety Checklist.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:  1302.47(b)(1)(iii)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:  5101:2-12-12(B)(3); 5101:2-12-13(C) & Appendix C
CACFP Regulation:
Caring for Our Children:
Other Sources:  NOCAC Agency Personnel Policies 7.00 and 7.14; Ohio Revised Code 3794.02


Effective Date: 5/4/15, 4/28/2017 Revision Date: 5/4/15
Approved By Policy Council: 5/4/15, 4/28/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: 5/4/15

Animals in the Classroom


NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) will ensure that only “allowable” animals will be brought into the HS/EHS Classroom and appropriate safety and sanitation procedures will be followed at all times.


  1. NOCAC HS/EHS follows the Caring for Our Children and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Day Care Licensing Rules.
    1. Animal licenses and inoculation records will be kept on file at the center.
  2. Visiting animals should be curriculum embedded.
  3. All pet cages will be cleaned/disinfected once a week by staff (latex gloves should be worn to protect staff). Make sure that the animal is not put back into the cage until it has a chance to completely air dry.
  4. Children will only hold the animal(s) outside the cage. If an animal “potty accident” occurs the children must wash hands and clothing immediately. Only staff’s hands are to be inside the animal cage.
  5. Animals cannot roam the classroom freely without supervision. When they are out, they must be closely monitored to ensure that any accidents are cleaned up with disinfectant immediately.
  6. Animals must have appropriate sized cages. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other gerbils need room to explore and use their large muscles and it is also important for children to see adult’s model humane treatment of animals.
  7. Animals can visit the classroom under certain circumstances
    1. A traveling pet show can visit a classroom if they are registered with USDA. However, special sanitation arrangements must be made if snakes and reptiles which can carry Salmonella bacteria are to be allowed in the classroom. The Center Manager and Health and Safety Manager will be utilized in the planning of such an event.
    2. Dogs and cats from outside organizations can only be brought in if they have no history of biting/scratching, have an updated rabies vaccination and children in the classroom who might be afraid are taken into consideration prior to allowing the pet to visit.
    3. Other animals with the exception of snakes, turtles and other reptiles can be brought in for sharing and for a limited time if they do not bite and hands are washed before and immediately after handling.
  8. If an animal bites a child, follow appropriate first aid and accident reporting procedures and remove the animal from the classroom immediately. In order to avoid a bite, be sure to follow these guidelines:
    1. Talk about how to handle animals (or not to handle) prior to introducing the classroom pet
    2. Teach animal safety – Children need to be well supervised when handling animals. Sometimes children want to test limits with animals or they are unaware of how big and strong they are in comparison with a small animal. In either case, an overzealous squeeze or shake may lead to a painful bite.
    3. Staff and children’s hands must be washed prior to handling an animal. The smell of food may invite an animal to bite.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    5101:2-12-12(C)(2)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    3.4.2
Other Sources:    


Effective Date: 8/7/17 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Active Supervision


NOCAC staff utilizes Active Supervision strategies to ensure the safety of children at all times.



Active Supervision requires staff to focus attention and intentionally observe children at all times with face to name recognition. Staff positions themselves so children are within sight and hearing at all times. Staff anticipates children’s actions and is vigilant about child safety indoors, outdoors, during special events, transitions and when children are arriving at or leaving the center.


  1. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds/gym will be set up to optimize the supervision of children at all times.
  2. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds will be clutter free and provide clear play spaces.
  3. Classroom doors will be shut when children are present.
    1. Staff will close the door by pulling/pushing with their hand when leaving a room after scanning for children.
  4. Exterior doors will be locked and/or monitored at all times.
  5. Playground gates will be closed and latched at all times (they must be unlocked while children are present on the playground).
  6. Buses must be locked at all times when not in use and the “Bus Checked, No children left on bus” sign must be displayed in the back window of the bus.
  7. When children use a restroom not in the classroom, NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start Staff will escort children to and from the restroom. Children will be within sight and hearing distance of the staff at all times.
    1. Staff will follow the Classroom Transition Policy at all times.
  8. Staff purses (or other personal belongings) may not be stored anywhere in the classrooms or anywhere accessible to children.
  9. No adult conversation or sharing personal information during class time. Staff should be actively involved with the children during all parts of the day. Please keep this in mind when talking with parents and other professionals as well. Prepare all materials that you will need throughout the day ahead of time. Focus all of your attention on the children during class time rather than completing staff duties (cleaning up, paperwork, phone calls, organizing activities, etc.)
  10. Staff’s priority for child safety will be evident at all times:
    1. Staff will not engage one another in conversations that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques. (for example: personal conversations, sharing confidential information, discussing behaviors, etc)
    2. Staff will respectfully redirect parents, visitors, volunteers, and other staff that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques.
    3. Staff will not make or receive personal phone calls, use cell phones or blue tooth devices when children are present.
    4. Staff will not permit personal visitors into the classroom during school hours.


  1. The Center Manager will complete a diagram of the site playground and divide it into two to three zones depending on the size of the playground. Staff will position themselves into their zone so as to have active supervision of every child in their zone.
  2. The zone diagram will be posted in the classroom and in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  3. Staff plan which zones they will supervise in each environment and anticipate the need to communicate with one another across zones to ensure child safety.
  4. Staff moves within their zones and interact with children during free play while keeping a direct line of supervision at all times.
  5. Staff stays close to children who may need additional support.
  6. See Transition from bus to center procedure for additional information.
    1. The bus transition location map will be in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  7. During naptime, staff must position cots to assure that children can be seen at all times.
  8. Staff should remain next to the classroom door until it is completely shut.


  1. Staff will continuously scan the entire environment and watch/count children frequently to ensure the safety of children using face to name recognition.
  2. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Transition Policy.
  3. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Attendance Policy.
  4. Staff will only release children to adults listed on the ODJFS 01234 Child Enrollment and Health Form and the Authorized Pick Up list.


  1. Staff will account for all children in their care at all times:
    1. Sight
      1. Lighting will be bright enough to clearly see the children at all times, even during nap time.
      2. Staff will move when needed to ensure a direct line of sight.
    2. Sound
      1. Staff will listen for sound or the absence of sounds that may signify reason for concern.


  1. Staff will use their long-term knowledge (e.g. interests, abilities, activity level) of children as well as developing information (e.g. illness, allergies, lack of sleep or food) to anticipate children’s behavior and actions.
      1. Holding a child’s hand that is known to run off
      2. Knowing staff roles when a child becomes ill on the bus or in the classroom
      3. Knowing the behavior plan for aggressive children


  1. Staff will positively engage and redirect children when they are unable to solve problems on their own while using Conscious Discipline techniques.
    1. Time out will not be used in any circumstance.
  2. Staff will teach children the appropriate and safe use of materials and equipment.
  3. Staff will create and post Classroom Safety Rules in their classroom environment.


  1. Staff will be trained annually, at a minimum, on this policy.
  2. New staff will be trained according to the new hire orientation plan, beginning on the first day of employment and reinforced throughout the first 90 days of employment.
  3. Future monitoring results from the Center Manager will determine the need for additional group, small group or individualized training.


  1. All classrooms with veteran staff will be formally monitored using the NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool  the first two months the program is in session and as needed thereafter. Classrooms with new staff will be monitored each month. The NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool also covers active supervision on the bus.
  2. If action is needed, a plan and follow-up will be documented on the Active Supervision Corrective Action Plan by the Center Manager.
  3. The completed monitoring forms will be sent to the Head Start/ECE Director by the end of each month.


  1. Incidents of unsupervised children are considered a “Serious Risk Non-Compliance” per ODJFS and will be reported immediately to the Center Manager and the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director.
  2. When applicable, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be notified.
  3. The Center Manager will report the Serious Risk Non-Compliance incident to ODJFS Day Care Licensing using the OCLQS website following ODJFS rule 5101:2-12-16(G)
  4. The Head Start Regional Office will be notified by the Head Start/ECE Director within three days of the incident, including where applicable, any reports made or information shared with child welfare agencies, state licensing bodies and parents.

Staff will report active supervision policy failures immediately to their supervisor. Supervisors will immediately report these issues to the Head Start/ECE Director and the Health and Safety Manager within 24 hours. Failure to report may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:  1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:  5101:2-12-19
CACFP Regulation:
Caring for Our Children:
Other Sources:


Effective Date: 7/11/16 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 7/11/16 Revision Approved By Policy Council: