A home day care center provides a more familial atmosphere and likely has smaller groups of children. The safety of children should always be a top priority, although exact requirements for licensing a home day care center differ by state. Also important to ensuring safety is a home day care that enforces effective safety rules for all of the attending children. Such rules exist to support the existing safety measures present in the operator's home.
Barriers Stay Undisturbed
Keeping several children safe in a home requires more than simply a watchful eye. This is why many states require a physical barrier, such as a fence or gate, around pools, heaters, fans and staircases. Young children aren't likely to see a swimming pool or an electric fan as particularly threatening, which is why the day care provider should insist on a strict "no tampering rule" when it comes to gates and barriers. Children should never to attempt to climb over, open, lean on or otherwise tamper with safety gates or guards.
Always Ask the Teacher First
There's nothing immediately dangerous about older toddlers leaving their assigned space to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, but you don't want them wandering off outside or into other areas of the house. That's why even when safety gates and barriers are secure and plentiful, children should always ask permission before leaving the immediate space. The exact definition of immediate space can be clearly outlined by painter's tape on the floor or a safety gate. Either way, an adult should always know where every child is at all times.
Sanitation and Health
Supporting good hygiene habits is an important component of a quality in home day care. Children should always be required to wash their hands before they eat and after they use the bathroom, and staff should be required to do the same. Kids should also be prohibited from sharing cups or utensils to prevent the spread of germs. Teachers should provide assistance and reminders as necessary.
Not every place is a safe play space in a home day care. Children need clear rules about the areas where swinging and climbing are appropriate, such as an indoor play structure or outdoor swing set, and where such behavior is unacceptable. Playing and running should be strictly prohibited while on the stairs, in the kitchen or in the bathroom. Even if nobody else is in the bathroom and nothing in the kitchen is turned on, you want children to get in the habit of behaving safely in these high-risk spaces.
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