Developmentally appropriate, safe materials and equipment are available to all children. Materials and equipment that project heterogeneous racial,sexual, and age attributes are selected and used. Materials and equipment should reflect the diversity that exists in society and avoid stereotyping of any group. Materials are selected to emphasize concrete, experimental learning and to achieve the following goals:

  1. Foster positive self-concept
  2. Develop social goals
  3. Encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment including numeracy skills
  4. Encourage language development and literacy skills in English and in the child’s home language, as needed
  5. Enhance physical development and skills
  6. Encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety, and nutritional practices
  7. Encourage creative expression and appreciation of the arts
  8. Respect cultural diversity

Child-initiated activities are planned for 60 minutes, which allows children to initiate play using various materials and activities. Children can choose their own activities and/or from teacher’s planned activities. Staff respects the child’s right to choose not to participate at times.


  1. Inventory materials/equipment at the end of each program year using inventory list supplied by Central Office. List indicates developmental appropriate materials/equipment that should be available in all classrooms. (see Setting up the Physical Environment policy; Classroom Environment policy)
  2. Notify RM and/or Early Childhood Education/Disabilities Consultant of need for additional and/or replacement items.
  3. Ensure there are sufficient materials and equipment to meet the cultural and developmental needs of the population served, including children with disabilities.
  4. Materials must be accessible, attractive, and inviting, and be designed to provide a variety of learning experiences. (see Setting up the Physical Environment policy)
  5. Materials should be safe, durable, and in good condition.
  6. Store materials and equipment in a safe, orderly fashion when not in use.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45CFR Section 1302.31
It was approved by Policy Council on April 8, 1997.

Updated July 6,1999. November 15, 2000. June 2008. June 2009. August 2017

© 1995-2017.Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.