How to Provide a Physically Safe Environment at Daycare Centers


Entrusting the lives of your children in the care of another person could be scary. For this reason, when providing daycare to others, your facility must take into consideration the safety, health and well-being of children that are left in your care. Every day children are injured and rushed to the emergency room for injuries they received but could have avoided if the daycare facility were safe, clean and well equipped with the staff needed to prevent harm to the children.

Things You'll Need

  • 1. Open-door policy
  • 2. State-issued daycare license
  • 3. Staff with training on blood-borne pathogens
  • 4. Staff background checks
  • 5. Staff certified in child abuse and neglect reporting procedures, positive discipline procedures, nutrition, child development, First Aid/CPR
  • 6. Evacuation contingency plan
  • 7. Medication dispensing plan
  • 8. Safety gates

Steps to Take

Create or revise an open-door policy that allows for parents to enter the daycare center at any time.

Before opening up the center, apply and obtain all licensing required by your state in cooperation with the childcare licensing department in order to operate a childcare center.

Obtain training for staff members on blood-borne pathogens and diseases. Pay particular attention to those diseases such as AIDS, Hepatitis B and other infectious diseases. Background checks should be completed by the local police department and by a state-approved investigation agency. Fingerprints are taken and kept on file for each staff member. Children should be signed in and out, and a list of persons allowed to pick up children from the center kept on file and provided by the custodial parent of the child. Apply positive discipline to children that will enhance child development. Provide proper storage of food. Training in First Aid/CPR or even recertifications ensures staff is equipped with the knowledge of handling emergencies that include choking. First Aid kits should include Ipecac which is a drug administered for treatment of patients that have consumed poisons.

The center’s floor plan is displayed, detailing at least all emergency exits and contact phone numbers. Staff should be trained on procedures to follow in case of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes or any other natural disasters.

A list of medications to be dispensed along with the dosage and doctor information is provided by the parents and is kept in a locked cabinet. Medications that are prescribed by a doctor are the only ones that should be dispensed at the center.

If your facility has stairs, place safety gates at the bottom of the stairs to prevent children from wandering upstairs. Gates should also be placed in the doorways of kitchens, porches, basements, laundry doorways and areas that are potentially dangerous to children including those areas where cords, refrigerators, ovens or other appliances are kept or used.

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