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gkids09 12:42 PM 03-01-2011
My STARS assessment is next Tuesday..For those of you who don't know what it is, someone comes in around 8-8:30 and will stay and WATCH everything until the kids go down for nap. THEN, they'll stay and interview me, THEN they'll go outside and check out my playground area. My licensor says it's kind of dumb, because they want you to do things that aren't entirely necessary.

I am really nervous. Not because I don't think we'll do well...but because my resilient surfacing isn't going to be completed by then. I know they'll count off for it, and I don't know what to do.

My dad and hubby are supposed to be getting all the things needed to make the boundaries bigger around the swingset. My grandmother did them when she had the daycare, and didn't follow the exact criteria because she was a little stuck in her ways. lol Anyway, dad came out and measured, and DH is getting cross ties to create the boundaries.

Problem is....Wood chips won't be available for at least a couple more weeks. We are pricing pea gravel, but I am thinking wood chips will be much cheaper, and they'll both probably have to be replenished annually no matter what.

We haven't been able to go out much in the past few months, so I haven't started the work til now..There was no point in buying the wood chips to disintegrate before we even got to play in them! I'm so afraid the weather will be wonderful and we'll need to go out Tuesday, and then what?? Do we make the kids stay off the swingset, their favorite place to be?? What would you do?

TIA..
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Autismworld 01:03 PM 03-01-2011
Is this whole swingset thing something that you aren't in compliance with? If that is the case... then yes, you'll have to keep the kids off of it. If it isn't a rule thing... and there are no immediate dangers...then I think it would be okay.

My playground is pearock...I like it much better than the wood chips.... the pearock lasts forever other than what the kids bring home in their pockets so I haven't had to replenish them at all.

Is this STARS thing part of the licensing process or something voluntary??
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gkids09 01:18 PM 03-01-2011
It's part of the licensing process BUT the rules are totally different from state standards...It's really hard to explain. I am completely perfect for licensing rules, but stars has so many EXTRAS that licensing doesn't care if you do or not.

Basically, you choose whether or not to "participate" in stars, and if you don't, you just can't brag about the amount of stars you get from the assessment. But you have to get the assessment to get your license renewed...So assessment is not optional, but participation is...does that make any sense at all?? lol

I guess I'm going to have to keep them off the swingset. It really sucks because that's all most of them want to do outside, but rules are rules...
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Autismworld 01:47 PM 03-01-2011
Will they be leaving after they check your outside area after lunch or will they stick around until nap time is over? If they are leaving, just save your outside playtime till the afternoon.
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Crystal 01:57 PM 03-01-2011
First, let me say BREATHE! I do assessments and the people I visit are ALWAYS a nervous wreck. BUT, your asssessor is human too and should understand your nervous. They also realize we are not perfect!!! It really isn't as bad as you think.

Now, what you should do for this visit. I would get some yellow caution tape and some posts. Surround the entire swingset area with this, creating a barrier. Make a sign that says "keep out, under construction" or something. Then let the assessor know that the area is off limits as you await the pouring of your cushioning.

Set this up now and introduce it to the children. That way the kids won't be like "oh, wow what's this it wasn't here yesterday!" and they will already know to stay out of that space.

Relax, you'll do fine!!!!
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gkids09 04:58 PM 03-01-2011
Originally Posted by Autismworld:
Will they be leaving after they check your outside area after lunch or will they stick around until nap time is over? If they are leaving, just save your outside playtime till the afternoon.
Haha!! Yes, actually!! I am seriously thinking about that...but they do SO much better outside. They LOVE it!! I guess I'll just see what the weather's like Tuesday!

Originally Posted by Crystal:
First, let me say BREATHE! I do assessments and the people I visit are ALWAYS a nervous wreck. BUT, your asssessor is human too and should understand your nervous. They also realize we are not perfect!!! It really isn't as bad as you think.

Now, what you should do for this visit. I would get some yellow caution tape and some posts. Surround the entire swingset area with this, creating a barrier. Make a sign that says "keep out, under construction" or something. Then let the assessor know that the area is off limits as you await the pouring of your cushioning.

Set this up now and introduce it to the children. That way the kids won't be like "oh, wow what's this it wasn't here yesterday!" and they will already know to stay out of that space.

Relax, you'll do fine!!!!

Crystal...THANK YOU!!!! Everything you said made me feel SO much better. lol I told my hubby your idea, and he's going to get the caution tape all set up for me! He's a farmer, so he's got lots of fence posts to use for it!! If we have the area blocked off from the kids, will we still get counted off for it, or will it not count since the kids won't be allowed in?

I had a really good experience last year. The girl was SO nice, and we got along really well. I'm just afraid we'll get someone who isn't so nice this year...
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Tags:assessment, assessment - stars
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