Child care providers often present parents with a formal safety policy that spells out the procedures that child care workers will follow in efforts to protect the children in their care. Safety policies and procedures provide assurance to parents that caregivers have an organised plan for safety. The policies also protect the caregiver by establishing a uniform plan of action that parents are aware of and that workers are trained to follow.
Parents need assurance that child care workers are trained to deal with health emergencies, which should include current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. The safety policy should list the training requirements for personnel and include a plan for dealing with emergency situations. This plan should indicate arrangements for alternative care in the event of severe illness or injury and the procedure for notifying parents of an injury or illness involving their child.
The safety policy should clarify the precautions taken by day care personnel to ensure that indoor and outdoor play areas are safe for children. The procedure for environment safety includes the assurance that children are supervised at all times, that all medicine and cleaning products are locked up and inaccessible to children, that approved safety gates are used to block stairways and that outlets are covered.
Fire or Natural Disaster
The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community recommends that child care facilities "follow a written plan for reporting and evacuating all occupants" in case of fire or natural disaster. The safety policy should inform parents of the fixed meeting place in the event of a fire at the facility and indicate how often fire drills are performed. The meeting place should be a safe distance from the home, and each worker at the facility should participate in monthly fire drills with the children. The facility's procedure for responding to the threat of severe weather should be included in the safety policy as well. The policy needs to indicate where the children will go in the facility in the case of a tornado or severe thunderstorm.
The procedure for transporting children to activities or other functions should be indicated in the safety policy. Parents need to know that each driver has been cleared to work with children and that children will not be transported without appropriate child safety seats. The policy should also require the counting of children at each stop and departure.
Character and Medical Clearance
The health and character requirements for caregivers should be included in the safety policy. This assures parents that each adult who works with their child or children has passed a background check and is healthy enough to provide quality care to children.
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