SAFETY AT THE GARDEN OF CHILDREN, LTD
The secure doors prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the GOC. Anyone coming into the building must ring the door bell. Anyone who is NOT part of our staff, a visitor authorized in writing by a parent or guardian of a GOC student, or someone responding to an emergency must sign our Visitor’s Register, located at the front desk.
The check in system tracks when children are dropped off and by whom, as well as, who picked them up and when.
AUTHORIZATION FOR PICK-UP
When children are enrolled, the parent or guardian will provide a list of persons authorized to pick up the child. Children will only be released to individuals on the “Authorizations For Pick Up” list. If anyone that we do not recognize tries to pick up your child, we will ask them for a picture ID, and verify that they are on the list.
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
Each classroom and the playground have video cameras recording the day. There is a live feed projected in the Director’s office and at the front desk (where parents can view). We have live feed only.
- In the unlikely event a child is lost, the parents and authorities will be immediately notified. In the unlikely event of a tornado, the children will be moved to a secure location in the building. In the unlikely event of a fire, the building will be immediately evacuated. Fire and tornado drills are routinely conducted once a month to ensure teacher and child preparedness.
- In the event a child has an accident, becomes seriously ill, or is injured at the Garden of Children, an Accident/Incident Report will be filled out at the time of the incident. If it is a minor accident/incident/illness, the parent/guardian will be given a copy of the report when they pick up their child. If the accident/incident/illness requires any medical attention, the parent/guardian will be notified immediately and the child will be transported to the nearest medical facility. In the event a child runs a fever over 101 degrees, the parent/guardian will be notified immediately and the child will be sent home. When they have been fever free, without the use of Tylenol for 24 hours, they are able to return. The child can return after use of antibiotics for 24 hours.
- Seat Belts: All GOC vehicles are equipped with seatbelts. All occupants of the vehicle are required to wear seatbelts any time the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, all occupants are required to remain seated at all times. Car seats and boosters are also used for children based on the age, weight, and height requirements. Please note: If your child does not obey the rules while riding in a GOC vehicle, he/she may be barred from riding in any GOC vehicle in the future.
- All GOC busses/vans are equipped with cellular phones. The phones are programmed for instant notification of the Director and 911 in the event of any emergency. All drivers are certified in First Aid and CPR.
- All Teachers, Directors, Assistant Directors, Drivers, and Infant staff are trained in First Aid, and CPR (for all ages) and must maintain certification.
- All employees receive mandatory safety training when hired including: Child Safety and Play Ground Rules, Virginia Rules and Regulations, Child Discipline, and Hazardous Materials. Additional safety training is required as part of our ongoing annual training, and ongoing training modules.
- The GOC has key employees trained and certified in administering medicines. This requires an 8 hour class with ongoing training for new medications or changes in existing medications.
The center Director makes “rounds” checking classrooms throughout the day. Attendance is taken in each classroom many times throughout the day through individual class count sheets. A count is taken anytime children move from location to location including: from room to room; between school and playground; between school and vans/buses; and every location change on field trips. The Director also utilizes the video monitoring of every classroom throughout the day, and our check in system tracks when children are dropped off and picked up.
FIELD TRIP SAFETY
- We have many safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of the children during special events.
- For field trips away from GOC we require children to wear highly visible tee shirts (we strongly encourage parents to purchase our GOC tee shirts) which includes center information and phone number. The shirt is highly visible, and in the unlikely event that a child becomes separated from the class, it is easy to identify the group they belong with.
- Class counts are taken anytime children move from location to location including between school and vans/buses, and every location change on field trips.
- As always, we adhere to the state-mandated student/child ratios. If the event is attended outside of GOC, we often increase the number of staff to children ratio, if we feel the situation warrants it. Many times the facility being visited requires a certain student/staff ratio. We will adhere to this ratio as long as it is not below the state mandated student/staff ratio for the age group and it is not below GOC standards.
- Signed Permission Slips are required before your child will be permitted to go on the field trip.
- All medication (prescription or over-the-counter) brought into the building by parents or employees, must be locked in the director’s office. No employee may keep any form of medication, vitamins, or supplements in his/her pockets or purse.
- Only employees with a current certification for administering medication may give any form of medication to children.
- Once you have brought us your child’s prescription medicine in its original container including the child’s name, as well as the completed form from the physician, it will be stored and administered in compliance with the “Nurse Practice Act”. You and the child’s physician must give us written permission before we can dispense ANY MEDICATIONS, including Tylenol and other over the counter medications. Anyone dispensing medicine to your child has completed state approved training. All medicines, whether needing refrigeration or not, will be stored in a locked container when not in use.
EMPLOYEE DRUG TESTING
GOC has a zero tolerance drug policy for staff. Therefore, the GOC may conduct random or reasonable suspicion drug tests of any/all employees at any time it is determined by management to be in the best interest of the GOC, its employees, or customers. If it is confirmed that an employee worked for the GOC with any measurable amount of an un-prescribed drug, alcohol, or illegal drug in the employee’s body, blood, or urine, the employee’s employment with the GOC will be terminated immediately. If an employee is selected for drug testing but refuses the test, they will be terminated. We do not allow tobacco usage of any kind on our property or in company vehicles, even if children are not present.
EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS
All employees are subject to background checks (CBI, FBI, and/or Central Registry) as a condition of employment with the GOC. Employees are also flagged so we are notified in the event they are arrested while employed with us. This means the employee is checked for any past issues, and we are also notified should they have any future issues.
We do not think of discipline as punishment. Our goal is to help each child develop self control and a sense of respect for themselves and others. We strive to create a child care environment that encourages children to make positive choices. The word DISCIPLINE means TO TEACH. Discipline is the key to learning. A child finds security where there is discipline. He/she must know what you expect from him/her before he/she can follow your instruction. Effective discipline teaches children behavior that is right for that time and place. Praise and positive reinforcement are our first methods of behavior management of children. When children receive positive, nonviolent, and understanding interactions from parents, teachers and others, they develop good self concepts, problem solving abilities, and self-discipline.
Rules and consequences are a reality of everyday life, and children need to learn how to understand these difficult concepts. Part of natural child development includes “testing” rules and boundaries. We use “time-out” as a consequence, but as a last resort. This allows a child to calm him/herself and reinforce the concept that rules are a natural part of a safe, consistent environment.
When inappropriate behavior occurs, it is corrected through explanation, redirection and diversionary techniques. Discipline is carried out in a non-threatening, positive manner that is appropriate to the child’s level of development. Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment are not permitted under any circumstances.