Step 4: Relationships & Interactions

What are the goals in Step 4?

  • Demonstration of continued commitment to providing quality space and materials to support play and learning experiences.
  • Continued verification your program is accurately assessing the needs of the children you care for. 
  • Develop warm and supportive relationships with children and help children develop positive relationships with each other.
  • Place an emphasis on children’s interests, motivations and points of view in daily activities and interactions.
  • Facilitate children’s critical thinking and language development through interactions with children.

Why is Step 4 important?

When adults develop warm and caring relationships with each child, children do better in school. Research shows that children in programs with higher CLASS® scores make greater academic and social gains than those in programs with lower CLASS® scores.

How do I show that I meet the Step 4 Quality Standards?

  • Bright & Early ND Assessor completes a Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS®) observation in all settings applying for Bright & Early ND Step 4 Quality Assured.
    • The Infant CLASS® is used with children ages birth-15 months.
    • The Toddler CLASS® is used with children ages 16 months-35 months.
    • The Pre-K CLASS® is used with children ages 3-5 years.
      • For Preschool and Center Licensed Programs: Observations will be conducted in each classroom with the appropriate tool reflecting the age group in care. Classroom scores are averaged to calculate a program level score for each tool used. 
      • For Family and Group Licensed Programs: Bright & Early ND Assessor will alternate tools so full representation of each age group is observed and scores are averaged to calculate a program level score for each tool used. 
  • Demonstrate continued commitment to providing quality space and materials by completing the Environment Rating Scale® Self-Assessment. One self-assessment must be completed for each separate classroom/group in the program.
  • Meet Professional Development Quality Standards.
  • Plus, the Health & Safety Quality Standards in Step 1, the Space & Materials Quality Standards in Step 2 and the Activities and Experiences Quality Standards in Step 3.

How can I prepare now for Step 4?

  • Work on the Step 4 Professional Development Quality Standards. 
  • Learn more about the CLASS® tool.
  • Reflect on your relationships and interactions with children.

Are you ready? Submit your Participation Application today!

Resources To Help With Step 4