You can’t always control potty accidents or the temper tantrums of your little ones, but you can control how safe and secure your center is. Safety and security is the most important thing in parents’ minds and it’s up to you to ensure that parents feel at ease when they drop their children off for the day.
According to the Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, “today, more than 30 percent of children under the age of three and almost 50 percent of children between the ages of three and five attend an early childhood center for some part of their day.” There are many aspects to safety such as: health and hygiene, food and nutrition and physical activity. In this post we will only cover the safety and security of your center and the precautions that should be put in place to prepare for inclement weather, a fire, natural disasters or even kidnappings. Do you have an official safety plan for your school or center? If so, where do you keep it and how often do you update it? Do you use it as a resource when new families come to tour your facility?
If you don’t have a safety plan, would all of your teachers and staff know what to do if an emergency were to unexpectedly happen? If you can’t quite answer that question with confidence that’s ok, because we value safety and security just as much as you do and want to help prepare you with the tools necessary to ease parents’ fears around their childrens’ safety when their kids are at your center or school. To get you started we have adapted an official safety plan from the NYC Department of Education and have made it easy for you to customize and print as a resource for you and your staff.
To get you thinking about safety and security processes, think about when new visitors come to your center – what is your current process? Are all teachers and staff consistent in implementing your visitor process?
Again, if you don’t have confident answers don’t sweat it – but do prepare for it now. A section within the safety plan identifies how you would handle visitors to your school or center. The plan states that visitors should be required to sign in and note the time and then sign out when they leave in a log book. That way you are able to reference everyone who passes through your doors in a given time period. Also, visitors need to wear a visitor badge neck strap or sticker that must be visible to all staff to ensure all adults are identified appropriately. Small processes such as how to handle visitors within your school or center are VERY important to parents who will notice the effort that makes your facility a more secure one.
Get your 2012-2013 Safety Plan created today. Simply download this FREE template and complete the various information fields. After it’s complete, print and review with your teachers and staff. Then be sure it’s stored in a binder that is accessible to all employees.
Looking for security products? Check out our I.D. Holders for more great ideas to make your learning environment even more safe and secure.