Given recent events at a nearby preschool, we want to make sure parents understand how to preform due diligence when selecting daycares and preschools for their children. Accidents happen, but every facility should have processes in place to prevent and handle them.
Here are five things you can do to check daycare policies and procedures to verify that it’s a safe environment for your child.
1. Background Checks
The Department of Family & Protective Services licenses all childcare facilities in Texas and you can view any previous violations or incidences on their site. The DFPS works with communities to ensure the protection, health, and safety of children in daycare through investigations and prevention programs.
If you are wanting to view previous violations or incidences, you can type in the name of the facility and the list will be under “Compliance History.” From there, you’ll be able to view inspections, reports, or self-reports.
- “Inspections” are reoccurring to ensure that the facility is compliant with a specific set of state standards.
- “Reports” are from an outside source in which there was a concern resulting in an investigation. It will also state whether the violation has been corrected.
- “Self-reports” are from within the facility in which the incident/violation occurred. Self-reports are not necessarily a bad thing. They do show the facility is taking steps to hold themselves accountable for an incident.
2. Caregiver Hiring Practices
When hiring in a childcare facility, it’s important to do background checks through the DFPS and FBI. Upon arriving for an interview, the facility should get a copy of a valid driver’s license or ID of the candidate. DFPS requires CPR/First Aid certification to be compliant with state standards.
Some facilities also use specific assessment for childcare applicants to screen and identify high performers. Working interviews are important to the process because they allow the candidate to experience the classroom setting with the children and teacher. It also allows the teacher to assess how the candidate interacts with the children.
3. Video Monitoring
Video monitoring is a vital component to any daycare. Live video feeds provide at-will parent viewing establishing trust between parents and caregivers. Daycare staff should monitor the video feeds at all times to insure compliance with all aspects of state and school standards for care of the children, teacher-child interaction, safety, and sanitary procedures.
When working with children, accidents and incidence are inevitable. Our job as caregivers is to make sure they are as infrequent as possible. Reporting is required anytime a child injury occurs, even if it’s self-inflicted. The report will inform the parents and is kept on file for school records.
Parents should be notified the same day an incident occurred. If a mark is left on the child, parents should be made aware of how and when it happened and how staff handled the situation. Per school policies, caregivers should document the accident/incident on a form including what occurred preceding the incident. The report should also include a time-frame and description of the situation and environment.
Once notified, the parent is shown the incident report and will sign it to state they are aware of what happened. If an incident involves a child needing immediate medical attention, the parent must be notified immediately. In this case, self-reporting is crucial so that a state investigation is conducted as soon as possible. The record of the self-report and investigation should confirm that necessary actions are taken.
5. Open-Door Policy
An open-door policy and thorough communication between parents and caregivers is important. This allows parents insight into what goes on inside the childcare center. It also allows parents and teachers to discuss any concerns involving the child. The administrators’ duty is to insure that teachers give the highest quality care for the children and customer service for the families.
All of these items, however large or small, are important to think about and establish ahead of time so that all parties, from employees to families, know what to expect.