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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The early childhood profession has developed many use- ful assessment tools and rating scales for programs to use in improving quality. However, the one you will use here is unlike the others. Instead of evaluating your space from a set of standards, regulations, or curriculum models, we will help you reconsider your environment from a child’s point of view. The elements used in this assessment form the framework of a child-friendly space for living and learning; they are discussed at greater length in the rest of this book. The components listed below are geared toward preschool or school- age children. The assessment is included in appendix A for photocopying and is available to download on the Designs for Living and Learning page at www.redleafpress.org. Appendix A and the Redleaf Press website also includes one assessment to evaluate your site for family-friendly environ- ments, another for infant and toddler caregivers, and a third to assess the caregivers’ and teachers’ work environment. All of these resources are also available in Spanish in appendix B and on the Redleaf Press website. ] Assessing From the Child’s Perspective   Put yourself in the shoes of the young children who spend their days in your space. Consider the statements below from a child’s perspective, and use them to assess your space. Write the number of each statement in all of the places on your floor plan where you are confident the statement is true: 1 = I can see who I am and what I like to do at school and at home. 2 = I see places that are comfortable for my tired mommy, daddy, grandma, or auntie to sit and talk with me or my teacher. 3 = The natural world can be found here (such as objects from nature, animals, or living specimens). 4 = There is something sparkly, shadowy, or wondrous and magical here. 5 = My teacher leaves a special object out here every day so I can use it many times and to try to figure out more about its properties and how it works. 6 = There are materials here that I can use to make representations of what I understand or imagine. 7 = I can feel powerful and be physically active here. 8 = I can learn to see things from different perspectives here, literally and through assuming roles in dramatic play. 18  [   Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL