Whether it’s your first child, or the most recent addition to your family, choosing the right daycare center is one of the most important decisions you make! Daycare centers are responsible for your children during their stay with them, so having a safety checklist for daycare centers should always be a priority. Read along, as we share with you what we feel are some of the most critical parts of the decision making process when choosing a daycare center.

The Minimum in a Safety Checklist for Daycare Centers

There are a few basic requirements that any quality childcare center can add to make certain every child is as safe and secure as possible. Here is a MINIMUM safety checklist for daycare centers:

  • Doors That Are Always Locked and Secure With Controlled Entry – Having a secure facility means that only authorized parents, guardians and family members of children attending the daycare have normal access. No one can just walk in off the street and have access to your child.
  • Outdoor Motion Censor Lighting – If you are a parent that needs to pick up or drop off your child before sunrise or after sunset, regardless of the time of year, you will appreciate this feature!
  • Video Cameras Installed In Every Classroom and On Every playground – Not only does this give the daycare center a record of activity they can review, a quality daycare center will provide access for parents to view the cameras remotely so the parents can what is going on at any time with their child.
  • Have an Open and Liberal Visitation Policy – Parents should be able to stop by at any time during the day and visit with their child completely unannounced. They may seem contradictory to the above statement about locked doors, but a quality daycare center will have policies and procedures in place to keep the doors locked and secure while allowing parents unfettered access to their children.

In addition to the above “amenities”, you will also want to look for a daycare center in which the staff’s abilities and training contribute to the safety and security of your little ones. Every staff member should be trained in basic safety and security measures and those training’s should be documented as part of an ongoing teacher education process. In addition to that, they should also;

  • Be Trained In Conducting A Morning Health-check to discover, acknowledge and document any areas of concern with your child’s health. The teacher should also make notes on their individual Daily Health Observation Report for review by parents at any time.
  • Know The Count– Each teacher and teacher’s aide should always know the proper count of children in their classroom at all times. This can be made simple with a “tally board” in each classroom, hanging each child’s name under the corresponding number as they arrive to class. Make sure your daycare center has teachers that have a system in place to know the correct number of children under their control by doing a quick “head count” every 5 to 10 minutes throughout the day. This should also be true when the class is going outside, coming inside, going to/coming from a field trip or any other transition period during the day.
  • Practice Safety Drills – It is important that all children and staff are safely able to get out of the building or into a secure place in under sixty seconds. It might sound impossible, but with monthly fire and shelter in place drills, the Garden of Children is proud to say that all classrooms, including the infant room, are safely able to make it to their secure place just under that sixty second mark. Safety drills should be a part of any good daycare center safety checklist, policy and procedure!

If you find yourself unsure, uncertain of the center you’ve just toured or they don’t have a Safety Checklist for Daycare Centers at all, we encourage you to come and visit The Garden of Children in Newport News Virginia. We would love to show you all of the different ways we make our daycare center a safe and secure place for your children to Learn, Grow and Play Every Day!