In the United States, an overwhelming majority of parents with children work full-time jobs. In fact, 75.8% of mothers and 96.2% of fathers with children under age 6 work full-time.
As you can imagine, this means there's a huge demand for child care services. Because of this, you've probably gotten into this lucrative industry by either opening or running a daycare center.
If you're wondering about opening and closing procedures for child care providers, then you're in the right place. Read on to find out more!
Pick-up And Drop-off Procedures For Child Care Providers
You should take the security of the children very seriously. To do this, you should have clear and strict pick-up and drop-off procedures that are communicated to the parents and other caregivers.
For one, all children have to be dropped off during business hours and signed in. Whoever's on duty at the child care should be aware of when each child arrives, as well as when they leave.
While on your premises, the kids shouldn't be allowed to leave on their own. Conversely, they should never be allowed inside without an accompanying adult.
For pickup, Neverland Nursery School has a good policy. For example, the adults picking up the children must have state or government-issued ID and they have to be approved by the parents if you've never had contact with them before.
Opening Procedures For Child Care Providers
Before the kids arrive at your child care, you need to prep the place first. Otherwise, things will be disorganized and the children might not have a great time. The premises might also be unsafe if proper checks aren't done.
Daily Safety Check
Not only do you want the kids to feel comfortable and have fun at your child care, but you also want them to be safe. The Indiana Government website has a fantastic checklist that you should use.
Items on the list include:
- Clearing entrances and exits of obstacles
- Making hygiene supplies available
- Locking away all chemicals
- Checking that all furniture and equipment are in good condition
- Making sure first aid kits are properly stocked and available in every room
Of course, this isn't a comprehensive list, so make sure you take a look at this list and print it out where staff members can easily check the items off.
After unlocking the doors, turn up the lights and hang up the keys in a set place. That way, they're always easy to find and you won't misplace them.
You should then turn on the music. This serves 2 purposes: this can help get you motivated for the day and the kids will have something fun to listen to when they arrive.
Next, you should put your daily sheets on the clipboard. This will ensure that you're ready to pass out the sheets to each child as they come in.
Then, you should get ready for both breakfast and morning activities. That way, both you and your staff will be prepared to lead the children in the day's activities.
After, make your rounds to water any plants in the child care center so they stay healthy and perky.
When the kids start filing in, make sure to greet every child, as well as the adult dropping them off. This will help you keep a good relationship with everyone involved.
After greeting each pair, offer the adult the attendance sheet so they can fill it out and sign it as well. Don't forget to check their ID if you've never met them before.
After drop-off, you should make a list of the children attending daycare that day. Then, take attendance based on that list.
Closing Procedures For Child Care Providers
When the end of the day is drawing near, you should start helping the children get ready to go home. This can include things like changing diapers, cleaning up messy faces/hands/hair/clothes, and helping them put on their shoes.
If the children worked on art or any other project, gather these up so you can send them home with these projects.
Assist With Pickup
When the adults arrive, make sure they're on the approved list. Have them sign their child out on the attendance sheet before they leave.
Like with drop-off, you should also acknowledge both the adults and children as they leave the child care center. When they leave, you should then check off each child on the daily classroom list.
The most important thing you need to do after the kids leave is clean the child care center. This includes filling the dishwasher, sanitizing toys/bottles/pacifiers, and placing toys, materials, and equipment in their proper places.
You should also use disinfectant on all surfaces that the children may have touched, as illnesses can spread quickly if you don't. Also, wash the windows and mirrors with window cleaner and vacuum the floor.
Next, make your rounds and empty the trash cans if they're full. Check that all food is stored properly and also labeled.
In the kitchen, all surfaces need to be cleaned with soapy water and disinfectant. Plus, the sinks need to be emptied.
Once you're done, you should turn off the music, diffusers, and all other equipment. After turning off the lights, lock the doors and turn on the alarm if applicable.
Use These Opening And Closing Procedures For Child Care Providers
Now you have a clear-cut list of opening and closing procedures for child care providers.
As you can see, there are many tasks you need to keep up with on a daily basis. By having a clear set of opening and closing procedures, you and your staff members will have an easier time managing the business.
As a result, you'll be able to relax and have fun more with the pleasant kids that make your day!
If you'd like help with child care procedures, schedule a free demo of our child care management system now. We'll help you save time and money!
Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.
Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff.
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Do you run an early childhood association made up of child care providers? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shared Service Alliance.
Header image courtesy of Stockunlimited.