Texas State University Child Development Center Guidelines for Family and Child Development Students
Welcome to the Texas State University Child Development Center (CDC). We strive to provide a model early care and education program for University students, staff, faculty, and the San Marcos community. Our primary purpose is to provide an environment in which children can develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally within a play-based and developmentally appropriate curriculum under the guidance of qualified teachers and staff. Furthermore, we are here to support the University's mission of research, teaching, and community service by promoting access to higher education to a diverse population—including students in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family and Child Development (FCD) program.
We’ve developed the following guidelines in order to ensure optimal educational experiences for both the children at the CDC and the FCD students who spend time in our program. The CDC is a secure facility that must make the health and safety of children its primary responsibility. These guidelines support that aim.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services legal requirements
In order to help ensure the health and safety of children, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) Child Care Licensing sets minimum standards for people who work with children in child care programs. These standards reflect and uphold the provisions of the Texas Penal Code.
- If you have a felony conviction for any offense under the Texas Penal Code Title 4 15.031, Title 5, Title 6, Title 7 Chapter 29, Title 8 38.17, or Title 9 Chapter 43, or a like offense under federal or state law, you are not eligible to work in child care settings or participate in child development classes that require participation in a child care setting, and
- If you have any other misdemeanor or felony charge, indictment, conviction, or complaint you may be required to complete an additional risk assessment in order to participate in required course activities at the Child Development Center.
These standards apply to all Texas State University students who enroll in child development classes that require either observation or participation at the campus CDC. To meet these TDFPS standards, students must:
- Provide a copy of a Social Security card, I-10 number, work visa, or military ID,
- Provide a copy of a government issued photo ID (state issued driver’s license, military ID, state issued ID, or passport),
- Complete the Affidavit for Applicants for Employment with a Licensed Operation or Registered Child Care Home and have this affidavit notarized,
- Complete the Child Care Licensing Request for Background Check, and
- Provide verification of negative reading on an annual TB test.
Texas State University and state legislative legal requirements
Effective 1 August 2016, Texas State University implemented the mandate received from the Texas Legislature that requires all public universities to allow the carrying of concealed handguns by licensed permit holders. Within the provisions of the law and University policy, the Texas State Child Development Center is designated an official gun-free zone.
If a student is identified as entering or carrying a firearm at the CDC, University police will be notified, the student will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and the handgun license suspended. If convicted of illegal carry, the handgun license will be revoked. Further, the student will be denied access to the CDC for the duration of the semester.
Required paperwork for FCD students
Students in classes requiring CDC observation or participation will prepare packets of documents that are verified by the FCD program, the CDC, and the TDFPS. Some documents are completed on paper and some are submitted online. Please pay careful attention to directions so that you aren’t penalized for an incomplete packet.
Follow these instructions carefully so that you can submit the documents on the first day of class or before the final deadline of Friday, 5 p.m. on the second week of class in the semester. Students who fail to submit all documents by this time will not be able to participate in the required activities at the child development center and will forfeit credit for that significant portion of the class.
If you are in more than one class with CDC observation or participation requirements, complete a single packet.
In completing all forms, use the address that corresponds to the address on the government-issued ID.
1. Make a copy of government issued photo ID and Social Security card.
- These can be copied on a single sheet of paper.
- Make sure all of the information is legible and that the photo is clear.
2. Download, print, and legibly complete the Affidavit for Applicants for Employment in a Licensed Operation or Registered Child-Care Home accessible (HERE).
- This form asserts that you are who you say you are.
- This Affidavit form must be notarized. Notary services are available at most banks, credit unions, and attorneys’ offices. Free notary services are available at the office of the Attorney for Students in the LBJ Student Center (5-1.5) on campus. http://attorney.dos.txstate.edu
- All notary services require you to present a government issued photo ID that includes your signature (student IDs are NOT acceptable). You will sign in the presence of the notary, do NOT sign the affidavit ahead of time.
3. Download, print, and legibly complete the Child Care Licensing Request for Background Check form (HERE).
- This form asks for your permanent contact information to determine that you have no pending legal action or a conviction that will preclude you from participation at the CDC.
4. Document a negative TB test done within one calendar year of the end date of your class.
- You may have this test done with your regular physician or clinic before you return to campus.
- You may also have the test done at the University Health Center https://www.healthcenter.txstate.edu/services.html
- There are two types of tests: A simple tine test (this skin test must be evaluated 48 hours after it’s taken) and a blood test (that does not require a second clinic visit for reading). Either test is acceptable. If you select the tine test you must plan to have the skin test evaluated. Failure to have a test read within the designated time requires retesting and will delay document submission. Plan your schedule carefully to make sure you have completed documentation before the packet submission deadline - fourth class day.
- Both tests are valid for one year. If the test expires mid semester you’ll be required to retest in order to complete your CDC participation assignments.
- Neither the FCS office nor CDC can store documentation of prior tests. Keep a copy of your results.
Bring these paper documents to your instructor on the first day of class or before the final deadline of Friday, 5 p.m. second week of class.
Do NOT deliver the paperwork to the CDC.
These electronic documents must be submitted by the same deadline as the paper documents.
1. Read, complete, and electronically sign the Texas State Child Development Center Student Agreement form (HERE) and submit.
- This form asks you to assert that you have read, understand, and will comply with the CDC policies and procedures.
2. Read and electronically sign the Discipline and Guidance Policy form (HERE) and submit.
- This form is specific to discipline and guidance and was developed in sync with TDFPS Minimum Standards.
3. Read, complete, and electronically sign the Texas State Child Development Center Social Media Policy form (HERE) and submit.
- This form asks you to assert that you have read, understand, and will comply with the CDC policies and procedures.
Paperwork submission and participation clearance
FCD staff will determine that all documents have been submitted and properly signed. Folders will be submitted to the CDC and forwarded to TDFPS for approvals.
Your instructor will notify you when your application is approved. The instructor will then determine CDC participation and assignment dates.
Child Development Center (CDC) participation requirements
Participation at the CDC is a requirement for the following FCD classes:
FCD 2351: Child Development
FCD 2353: Principles of Guidance
FCD 3351: Creative Experiences: The Arts
FCD 3354: Creative Experiences: STEM
FCD 5341: Advanced Child Development
Observation and participation start and end times are set to both ensure the security and smooth functioning of the CDC, and to meet course work expectations for FCD students.
Typically, students enrolled in FCD 2351, FCD 3351, and FCD 3354 will be scheduled for one hour blocks; those enrolled in FCD 2353 and FCD 5341 will be scheduled for two hour blocks (or longer). Schedules will be set during the second week of each semester. Once schedules are set, students will adhere to the agreed-upon time and day for participation for the semester. Arriving late, trading times, and making up sessions are not consistent with the goals of the CDC or academic protocols.
Arrival and dismissal procedures for all FCD students
The CDC is a secure facility. To gain entry, press the intercom button at the outer door and inform the front desk staff of your name and the reason for your visit. You will be admitted through the first door. Show your photo ID to the desk staff who will note your arrival. The CDC will document attendance and provide this to your instructor. If students are more than 5 minutes late for scheduled time, they will not be admitted.
Upon admission, students are required to wear a name tag and red bandana; this identifies FCD students. FCD students participating in the classroom must also wear a scrub top. As an FCD representative, students are expected to maintain professional standards including
- Comfortable but appropriate dress. You will be actively engaged in activities so make sure to cover the 3 Bs (breasts, belly, and bum). Wind shorts, shorts above the knee, see through clothing, clothing with inappropriate messages, flip-flops, leggings or fitted athletic wear without tunic length top to cover bum, and shirts with spaghetti straps are not appropriate for the classrooms or observation booths.
- Focus on the children and their activities.
There is limited secure storage space at the CDC for your personal belongings so it’s wise to leave items such as your lunch bag, backpack, and purse at home or in your car. Cell phones, tablets, other electronic devices, as well as food, beverages, gum, and candy, are not permitted in the observation booths, the classrooms, or the playgrounds. Become familiar with assignments before you go to the CDC and bring only photo ID, paper, pen(cil) and note-taking tools to the classroom, booth or playground.
Students wait in the lobby for an escort to assigned classroom or observation booth. Students will also be escorted from the classroom or booth at the end of scheduled CDC time.
If you are enrolled in a class that requires classroom observations, front desk staff will offer you a head set for audio access to the classroom. Use what you hear and what you see to complete your class observation work. Remember, bring only paper and pen(cil) to the booth; electronic devices are NOT permitted.
Please do not chat or share notes with others in the booth. Students from multiple classes, and sometimes parents, faculty, and University administrators may be using the space during the same scheduled time.
Students enrolled in a class that requires classroom participation, follow these guidelines and always rely on the classroom teachers for guidance. Each classroom has a personal style and teachers may direct you to class-specific requirements. For example, participants in the infant classroom must remove their shoes.
- Students are required to wear a sleeved scrub top during your classroom participation time. It’s useful to have a top with pockets.
- Scrub tops are available for less than $10 at Goodwill, online, and at the outlet mall uniform store. Color and design are up to you. Uniform pants are not required but make sure clothing conforms to CDC expectations.
COVID (Mask wearing is strongly encouraged, especially for those not vaccinated)
Lab students will be required to provide a negative test (completed no more that 4 days before arriving at the CDC) along with photo ID, in order to participate in a CDC classroom.
The following training must be completed before participating in a CDC classroom.
A. Guidelines for classroom entry
- Thoroughly wash your hands using the correct procedure: Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; use disposable towel; and avoid recontamination from faucets by turning off faucets with the towel after drying your hands.
- Check in with the classroom teachers. Introduce yourself and ask for any special instructions.
- Review the lesson plan and learning center set-up. Consider how the classroom activities correspond to your FCD class expectations and assignments.
- If you have questions about what you should be doing in the classroom, ask.
- Settle in, observe, and interact with the children. Position yourself where you can see all of the room, even if you are engaged in a specific center or activity. Work at the children’s eye level and stay engaged.
B. Guidelines for interactions
- Remember why you’re at the CDC. Participation in classroom, and playground, activities enriches knowledge of children’s growth and development, helps you learn how an early care and education program works on behalf of groups of children and individual children, and offers tools for becoming an appropriate team member.
- Be prepared to be overheard. Children listen, and often repeat what they hear so your CDC conversations must be appropriate and related to the children’s learning environment.
- Move through the classroom in a relaxed, peaceful, and unhurried manner. Squat to the child’s level when addressing them, but do not demand eye contact.
- Respond—with your eyes and body—to children when they speak to you. Get on their level, but don’t expect children to look at you when you’re talking to them. Don’t expect or encourage children to call you Ma’am or Sir.
- Speak clearly, smile often, and respectfully join the children in their activities. Avoid calling across the classroom or playground to get a child’s attention; save your loud voice for an immediate emergency.
- Recall and use what you know about direct and indirect guidance techniques.
- Use the environment to help guide and direct expected, developmentally appropriate behaviors.
- Tell children what they can do and avoid using “don’t, no, stop”—words that don’t give children information on what they should do instead.
- Offer choices—but make sure all choices are acceptable.
- Keep in mind the basics. Rules are made to help children keep themselves safe, others safe, and the environment safe. Aside from these rules, everything else is for adult convenience and is likely to minimize the child’s opportunities for self-regulation.
- Encourage children to talk—build vocabulary, express feelings, identify their own emotions and needs.
- Enjoy the outdoor learning environment as an extension of the indoor classroom. Stay engaged with the children and offer as many learning opportunities—across all domains—as you would indoors, including quiet activities.
- Remember, the goal of guidance is the child’s ability to self-regulate behavior. Support the children’s efforts and encourage exploration and discovery. Avoid doing activities for a child and lavishly praising successes. Instead individually acknowledge attempts and let children feel pleased with themselves.
- When in doubt, ask. Never assume that you are the primary teacher; you aren’t included in the staff-to-child ratio and children know that you’re only with them for a limited amount of time each week.
- In accordance with professional ethics, it’s essential to maintain confidentiality. See the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment here. Never talk about the children and families you encounter at the CDC outside your FCD class. Breaches of confidentiality, including posts on social media, conversations with other students, and gossip among students and families can result in your permanent exclusion from the CDC.
Defer to the teaching staff—always!