How To Take Charge Of Your Childcare Security

Will your upcoming event involve childcare?  Here are five areas you must address to keep children safe.

Hire trained/experienced staff: Childcare workers should have background checks and First Aid/CPR training. Keep copies of training certificates and background checks on file.  Need help finding childcare professionals?  See if you can find someone who already manages childcare workers for another company, and hire them do some freelance work.  They already have a trusted group of people to contact.  If you can’t find someone like this, reach out to local gyms, churches and daycare centers. They will have lists of childcare workers, and if they aren’t willing to share the names, you might be allowed to send out an email or put up a poster asking for workers.

Create a secure and safe location.  Are the room(s) where the children will be cared for safe for them?  A space appropriate for adults is not necessarily safe for children.  Power outlets must be covered, doors secured, furniture checked for stability, and small objects removed.  Unfortunately, we must now also make sure that childcare locations are also secure from outside intruders.  Do windows and doors lock?  Is there a manned desk or check-in station where visitors must pass before entering?

Capture names and allergy information on each child.  With any number of unfamiliar children in attendance, childcare workers need a way to identify and keep track of their charges.  At the very least, write each child’s name and known allergies on a stick-on name tag and secure it to their back.  (Children will peel, exchange, shred or even eat a name tag affixed to the front of their clothing.)

Identify emergency contact information.  Paging systems have mostly been replaced by caregiver cell phones.  When staff check a child in, be sure they ask for an emergency contact number.  Parents can leave their phone on vibrate and receive a call or text from you if necessary.

Establish a workable pick up protocol.  This is what most people think about when they wrestle with childcare security.  Every childcare professional has nightmares about releasing a child into the custody of the wrong person.  There are lots of options available to you for pick up security.  From simple tag systems, to high tech touch screen check in software, systems differ in situational usefulness.  Since you will most likely be providing care for a group of children for only a few days, any system that takes lots of set up time and training for parents is not a good option.  Do a little research and you will find a system that fits your needs well.

Staff, location, child profiles, emergency contact information and pick up protocol are key to ensuring that the children your attendees leave in your care will be safe.  In addition, your attendees will be able to focus more fully on your event when they are sure their children are not only well cared for, but protected.

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