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Childcare Center - Building & Child Safety Policy Template

Use this policy template to cover the essential guidelines for building maintenance and child supervision in your childcare centers.

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Childcare Center - Building & Child Safety Policy Template

Use this policy template to cover the essential guidelines for building maintenance and child supervision in your childcare centers.

*Disclaimer from Trainual

Please note that this template is not a legal document. And its information is for general knowledge and educational purposes only — not to provide advice on how to structure your organization's processes and/or policies. Meaning, this template should never be taken in place of legal advice. 

To use, you will need to customize this template to meet all your company's requirements. So, please update it with any and all relevant information before rolling it out (like deleting this step)!


Importance of Safety in Childcare Settings

In the realm of childcare, the safety of every child is our paramount concern and the cornerstone upon which our center is built. Recognizing the trust parents place in us to protect and nurture their children, we prioritize creating and maintaining an environment that is not only conducive to learning and development but is fundamentally safe and secure. Our Building & Child Safety Policy is an essential component of this commitment, designed to meticulously outline the measures and procedures we implement to safeguard the well-being of the children in our care.

This policy serves as a comprehensive guide for our staff, equipping them with the knowledge and protocols necessary to prevent accidents, respond effectively to emergencies, and ensure a secure setting for both children and caregivers. Through detailed guidelines on building security, child supervision, emergency preparedness, and health and safety training, we prepare our staff to uphold the highest standards of safety. Our dedication to these principles is unwavering, as we understand that a safe environment is the foundation upon which meaningful learning and growth can occur.

Building Security Measures

Visitor Management

To ensure the utmost safety of our children, our childcare center implements a rigorous visitor management procedure tailored specifically for pre-verified individuals, such as parents, relatives, close friends authorized to visit or pick up a child, and families taking a tour of the facility:

  1. Pre-Verification Process: Prior to their first visit, all individuals authorized by the child's parents must undergo a pre-verification process. This involves providing identification details and being entered into our secure visitor management system.
  2. Check-In Procedure: Upon arrival, pre-verified visitors must check in at the front desk, where staff verify their identity against the pre-authorized list. Visitors confirm the purpose of their visit, primarily child pick-up or attendance at scheduled events.
  3. Issuance of Visitor Passes: Verified visitors receive a temporary pass, indicating their authorization. This pass must be displayed prominently while on the premises.
  4. Escorted Access: Even with pre-verification, visitors are accompanied by staff members to relevant areas only, such as child pick-up zones, ensuring minimal disruption to the center's routine.
  5. Monitoring and Escorting: Staff monitor the visit, ensuring it adheres to the center’s safety protocols. Visitors are escorted at all times to maintain security.
  6. Check-Out Requirement: Before leaving, visitors must check out at the front desk, returning their visitor pass and ensuring the child's safe and authorized departure.

By strictly managing access through pre-verification and continuous monitoring, we maintain a secure environment for our children, reassuring parents that their child’s safety is our top priority.

Surveillance Systems

Our childcare center is equipped with a comprehensive video surveillance system to enhance the safety and security of our children, staff, and facilities. Strategically placed cameras monitor key areas to ensure a secure environment and to assist in incident investigation if necessary. Surveillance locations include:

  • Entrances and Exits: Cameras at all entry and exit points help monitor who comes in and goes out, ensuring unauthorized individuals do not enter the premises.
  • Classrooms: To oversee daily activities and maintain the safety of our educational environment.
  • Playgrounds: Outdoor cameras cover play areas to ensure children are safe and well-supervised during outdoor activities.
  • Hallways and Common Areas: Surveillance in these areas helps prevent unsupervised wandering and ensures children are safely transitioning between activities.

This system operates in compliance with privacy laws and regulations, with footage securely stored and accessed only by authorized personnel for safety purposes, ensuring a balance between security and privacy.

Emergency Exits and Evacuation Routes

Location of emergency exits:

  • Main Entrance: Serves as both an entrance and a primary emergency exit, leading directly to the designated assembly area outside the building.
  • Rear Exit: Located at the back of the building, providing an alternative evacuation route to a secondary assembly area in the playground.
  • Side Exits: Situated on both sides of the building, these exits offer additional evacuation pathways, leading to respective side assembly points.

Safety points:

  • Assembly Areas: Clearly marked and easily accessible open spaces where children and staff gather during an evacuation. Each classroom is assigned a specific assembly area to facilitate headcounts and ensure all individuals are accounted for.
  • Fire Alarms and Extinguishers: Located throughout the facility, with fire alarms accessible in every room and extinguishers placed in key areas like the kitchen, hallways, and near each exit.
  • First Aid Stations: Equipped with essential first aid supplies, these stations are found in the main office, each classroom, and the kitchen area.
  • Safe Shelter Locations: Identified for use during severe weather or external threats, these areas are typically windowless rooms or hallways centrally located within the building.

This list is integral to our Building & Child Safety Policy, ensuring that both staff and children are familiar with emergency procedures and can respond promptly and safely in the event of an emergency. Regular drills and updates to this plan are part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining a secure environment.

Child Supervision Policy

Our Center Policy

Our Child Supervision Policy is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of every child entrusted to our care. We adhere to strict staff-to-child ratios that exceed state regulatory requirements, enabling close monitoring and personalized attention. For children aged 1-3, our ratio is 1:4; for ages 3-5, it’s 1:6; and for children aged 5-12, the ratio is 1:8.

Continuous supervision is provided at all times, both indoors and during outdoor activities. Staff are trained to maintain visual and auditory contact with the children, ensuring they are safe, engaged, and participating in appropriate activities. Special attention is given to transition times, such as arrivals, departures, and moving between activities, to prevent any child from being unsupervised.

Our policy also includes procedures for headcounts at regular intervals, particularly before leaving any location and upon arrival at the next. All staff members are trained in emergency procedures, including accounting for all children in their care during drills and actual emergencies.

By maintaining a vigilant, proactive approach to supervision, we uphold a safe and nurturing environment where children can explore, learn, and grow with confidence. Our commitment to these principles is unwavering, as the safety and security of our children are our top priorities.

Process for Monitoring Children within the Facility 

Here are our guidelines for monitoring children within the center:

1. Continuous Supervision: Ensure that each child is within visual or auditory range at all times, depending on the activity. Use a buddy system during group activities to help maintain oversight.

2. Staff Positioning: Position staff strategically in the room or outdoor area to optimize visibility and access to all children. Always have staff members stationed at entry and exit points during activities.

3. Regular Headcounts: Conduct headcounts at key transition times—such as moving from indoor to outdoor activities, before and after meal times, and during any changes in the group setting. Document these checks as per center policy.

4. Safe Transition Procedures: Ensure that children are counted before leaving the original location and upon arrival at the destination.

Outdoor Supervision Procedure

Here are our guidelines for monitoring children when outside:

1. Enhanced Visibility: Ensure all children are within visual range at all times. Staff should position themselves strategically around the play area, allowing for a clear view of all activities and access points.

2. Adequate Staffing: Adhere to staff-to-child ratios that meet or exceed licensing requirements, even more critical in an open, outdoor setting. Adjust ratios based on the nature of the outdoor activity and age of the children.

3. Secure Perimeter: Regularly inspect outdoor play areas to confirm that fencing and gates are secure and that there are no safety hazards. Ensure that equipment is age-appropriate and in good repair.

4. Weather Considerations: Monitor weather conditions closely, including temperature and UV index, to ensure outdoor play is safe. Implement sun safety practices, including applying sunscreen and providing shaded areas.

5. Activity-Specific Rules: Establish clear rules for outdoor play, tailored to the specific activities being undertaken. Explain these rules to the children beforehand and reinforce them as necessary during play.

6. Buddy System: Utilize a buddy system for older children, where each child is responsible for keeping an eye on their partner, under the supervision of staff.

7. Regular Headcounts: Conduct headcounts before transitioning to the outdoor area, upon arrival, periodically during play, and before returning inside. 

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency Evacuation Plans

1. Emergency Team Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Director: Oversees the entire evacuation, ensures communication with emergency services, and confirms that all staff and children are accounted for.
  • Teachers and Staff: Lead children to safety following predefined evacuation routes, taking roll calls before leaving and upon reaching the assembly point.
  • Maintenance Staff: Assists with any physical barriers to evacuation and checks that all areas are cleared.

2. Evacuation Procedures:

  • At the sound of the alarm or notification of an emergency, all staff execute the evacuation plan immediately.
  • Teachers gather children calmly, ensuring each child is accounted for.
  • Staff follows marked evacuation routes, avoiding elevators and ensuring doors are closed behind them.
  • Designated staff members grab emergency kits and attendance records as they exit.

3. Evacuation Routes and Exits:

  • Primary and secondary evacuation routes are clearly marked and free of obstructions.
  • Exits are well-lit, clearly labeled, and accessible.

4. Assembly Points:

  • Pre-determined assembly points are located a safe distance from the building.
  • Each classroom has a specific assembly point to streamline headcounts.

5. Headcounts and Roll Calls:

  • Upon reaching the assembly point, teachers conduct a headcount to ensure all children are present.
  • Missing persons or discrepancies are immediately reported to the Director.

6. Communication with Emergency Services:

  • The Director or designated staff member contacts emergency services, providing details of the situation and any immediate needs.

7. Parental Notification:

  • After ensuring all children are safe and accounted for, parents are notified of the evacuation and provided with instructions on where and when to pick up their children.

This Emergency Evacuation Plan is a critical component of our commitment to the safety and well-being of the children and staff at our childcare center. Ensuring everyone knows their role and the procedures to follow in an emergency is paramount to our operation. For questions or further clarification on any aspect of this plan, staff are encouraged to speak with the center director.

Lockdown Plans

1. Lockdown Team Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Director: Initiates the lockdown, communicates with law enforcement, and manages the overall response.
  • Teachers and Staff: Secure children in designated safe rooms, maintain calm, and keep children engaged quietly.
  • Maintenance Staff: Ensures all exterior doors and windows are locked and assists in checking that all areas are secured.

2. Initiation of Lockdown:

  • Lockdown is initiated upon receiving information of a threat. This can be communicated verbally or through the center's alert system.
  • Staff receive a predefined signal indicating the start of a lockdown.

3. Securing the Facility:

  • All staff immediately lock classroom and office doors, close blinds, and turn off lights to minimize visibility.
  • Children are moved away from windows and doors to the safest part of the room.
  • Exterior doors are locked, and no one is permitted to enter or exit the building until the all-clear is given by proper authorities.

4. Communication:

  • The Director or a designated staff member maintains communication with local law enforcement for updates and instructions.
  • Internal communication is kept to essential messages to avoid confusion and maintain silence.

5. Care and Comfort:

  • Staff keep children calm and engaged with quiet activities, reassuring them as needed.
  • Special attention is given to children with anxiety or specific needs to ensure their comfort.

6. Parental Notification:

  • Parents are informed of the lockdown through a predetermined communication system as soon as it is safe to do so without compromising the lockdown protocol.
  • Specific instructions are provided on when and where to pick up children once the lockdown is lifted.

Our Center Lockdown Procedure is a vital aspect of our commitment to the safety and well-being of everyone in our childcare center. It is essential that all staff understand and are prepared to execute this procedure efficiently. Questions or concerns about the lockdown process should be directed to the Director or the safety coordinator.

Emergency Drills

Conducting regular emergency drills is a critical part of our safety protocol at the childcare center, ensuring that both staff and children are prepared to respond effectively in a real emergency. Drills are scheduled at various times throughout the year to cover different scenarios, including evacuations, lockdowns, and natural disasters.

During these drills, children are guided by staff through the steps of the emergency procedure in a calm and controlled manner, aiming to familiarize them with the process without causing alarm. Staff members play a key role, demonstrating the actions to take and providing reassurance to the children.

Post-drill, staff gather for a debrief to discuss the effectiveness of the drill, any areas for improvement, and to reinforce the importance of these practices. Feedback from these sessions is used to refine our emergency response plans. Engaging children in these drills in a supportive and educational way helps to build their confidence and ensures that everyone knows what to do in an actual emergency.

Our Communication Plan for Drills and Emergencies

Our emergency communication plan is designed to ensure swift and efficient information flow during emergencies and drills. In the event of an actual emergency, our priority is to ensure the safety of the children and staff first. Once secure, we immediately contact emergency services if the situation requires their intervention. Following this, we initiate communication with parents through our established channels, such as text alerts, emails, and phone calls, to inform them of the nature of the emergency, the safety of their children, and instructions for reunification.

For drills, we inform parents in advance via newsletter or a notice sent home, explaining the importance of these practices and what they entail. This preemptive communication aims to alleviate concerns and underscores our commitment to preparedness and transparency. After drills, we provide a summary of the exercise to parents, highlighting any key observations or improvements to be made, reinforcing our dedication to maintaining a safe and secure environment for their children.

Facility Maintenance

Regular Safety Checks

In our childcare center, regular safety checks, inspections, and maintenance are fundamental practices to ensure the safety and well-being of all children and staff. Our comprehensive approach includes:

  1. Daily Safety Checks: Each morning, before children arrive, staff conduct safety checks of classrooms, playgrounds, and common areas to identify and rectify potential hazards, such as loose fittings, spills, or broken toys.
  2. Weekly Inspections: More thorough inspections are performed weekly, focusing on equipment, furniture, and outdoor play areas. This includes checking the stability of playground equipment, the condition of toys and learning materials, and ensuring all emergency exits and pathways are clear.
  3. Monthly Maintenance: Every month, our maintenance team conducts a detailed review of the facility’s infrastructure, including heating, cooling, lighting, and plumbing systems, to ensure everything is operating safely and efficiently. Any necessary repairs or updates are scheduled promptly.
  4. Annual Professional Inspections: We enlist certified professionals to conduct annual inspections of our facility, focusing on structural integrity, electrical systems, and fire safety measures. These experts provide recommendations for any long-term improvements or compliance requirements.
  5. Documentation and Follow-Up: All safety checks, inspections, and maintenance activities are meticulously documented. This record-keeping ensures accountability and provides a historical account for continuous improvement.

By adhering to this structured schedule of safety checks and maintenance, we proactively address potential risks, ensuring our facility remains a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. This ongoing commitment to safety is shared with parents, reinforcing their confidence in our care.

Reporting and Documentation

How To Document Incidents 

Our childcare center has a robust procedure in place for documenting incidents to ensure the safety and well-being of all children and staff. This systematic approach allows us to respond effectively, learn from each incident, and implement measures to prevent future occurrences.

Incident Documentation:

  1. Immediate Response: When an incident occurs, the staff member on the scene is responsible for ensuring the safety of all children and addressing the immediate needs related to the incident.
  2. Incident Report: The staff member then completes an incident report form as soon as possible. This report includes details such as the date, time, and location of the incident, a description of what happened, the names of individuals involved, and any first aid or medical attention provided.
  3. Review and Action: The completed report is submitted to the center director or designated safety officer. It is reviewed to understand the circumstances, decide if further action is required, and identify any steps to prevent a recurrence.
  4. Follow-Up: Parents of the children involved are notified of the incident and the center's response. Staff may also be debriefed to discuss the incident and review safety protocols.

Reporting Safety Concerns: Staff members are encouraged to report any safety concerns or hazards they notice immediately to the center director or the designated safety officer. Our open communication policy ensures that concerns are addressed promptly and effectively, maintaining our commitment to a safe environment.

This documentation and reporting procedure is crucial for maintaining transparency, accountability, and a continuous focus on safety within our center. It underscores our commitment to the well-being of the children in our care and our proactive stance on preventing accidents and incidents.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, our Building & Child Safety Policy is a comprehensive framework designed to ensure the highest level of safety and security for the children entrusted to our care. By adhering to strict guidelines for building security, child supervision, emergency preparedness, and facility maintenance, we create a safe and nurturing environment conducive to learning and development. Our commitment to regular training, safety checks, and clear communication protocols underscores our dedication to upholding these standards daily.

We encourage all staff members to familiarize themselves with this policy, understanding their roles and responsibilities within it. Should you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for improvement, we strongly urge you to speak directly with the center director. 

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