Reason this policy is important:
Child care settings must safeguard each child in care. All staff should be prepared to deal with any emergency that may happen during child care in order to minimize the effects of such events. Regular practice of emergency drills is essential to that responsibility and promotes calm, competent use of plans in an emergency such turnover of both staff and children, in addition to the changes in developmental abilities of children who participate in frequent practice drills.
Procedure and Practices, including responsible person(s):
At least monthly, TADA shall initiate an Emergency Evacuation Drill which will include all children in care, all staff and any other person who may be on the premises at the time. All drills will be conducted as if there were a real emergency taking place.
At least once a year TADA shall have a representative of local Emergency or Disaster Planning Services observe a drill and seek their input for possible improvements to the facility’s procedures, including the education of all children in care on what to do in different crisis situations. Such input shall be taken into account during the annual review of this policy.
Following every Emergency Evacuation Drill, TADA shall complete an entry regarding the drill on the Emergency Evacuation Drills Log. Any problems or errors occurring during each drill will be noted, addressed and corrected immediately.
What this Emergency Preparedness Policy Includes:
When this policy applies:
At varied times and places, using all building exits, and during all types of activities (meals and nap times included) and weather conditions, throughout the year while child care is being provided.
Communication plan for staff and parents:
Staff have a written copy of this policy in each classroom in a red binder. All parents will receive a written copy of this policy in their Parent Handbook upon their child’s enrollment. Written notification will be given of any updates.
Communication Plan for ParentsEmergency Closures
Emergency closures result when TADA's programming is interrupted by or Kidz Go Eco closes a classroom or program due to acts beyond Kidz Go Eco’s reasonable control including, but not limited to
There will be times when it is not safe for the children to come to the child care program, such as severe weather or power outages that occur before TADA opens for the day, or the children may begin the day at the child care program and then it becomes unsafe to stay due to an emergency situation. In order to reduce confusion when closing, it is important to have an emergency closing plan with which everyone is familiar. The Director will make the decision, then the Director and teaching staff will create a telephone tree to start reaching out to families as soon as possible using our emergency contact list that families provide us. We will take into consideration when it’s most wise to close, such as listening to road reports, listening for severe weather updates, watching for local school closings, and monitoring for any other local emergency situations.
Emergency Management Plan
If a state of emergency were to occur teachers will work together to alert parents and guardians via phone. TADA will rely on the public safety departments to aid us and supply transportation to a secure site if needed. Each staff member has a cell phone available as another form of contact in case the landline is interrupted.
Parent Communication with TADA in Case of School Emergency When Students are on Campus:
Code Green/Evacuation Plan Notification:
As soon as any staff member becomes aware of any situation with the potential for significant violence (bomb threat), or any unsafe situation that would result in an evacuation, the staff member shall immediately notify the Director and Lead Educators by the fastest means possible (phone, radio, direct contact) and isolate the incident.
Walk all children to parking lot at the hair salon behind TADA. Teachers lead all children to evacuation destinations.
Evacuation Response Assignments:
Reunification is the process of reuniting children with their parent, guardian, or other person listed on the emergency pick-up list. Reunification is conducted after an emergency disrupts the normal dismissal process and regular dismissal procedures cannot be followed. Parents/guardians will be directed by TADA or public officials by phone, tv, radio, website, or other social media as soon as it’s SAFE.
Children will only be released to parents/guardians and to emergency contacts on the pick-up list (proper identification will be needed).
Protecting Vulnerable Children in a Crisis
If TADA has a child or children enrolled with special considerations, and depending on the needs of the children, additional items we would consider if we had to evacuate might include:
Emergency “Missing Child”
All educators and staff at TADA are trained in infant/child CPR and first aid. All accidents or injuries requiring more first aid such as a band-aid or ice pack will be reported on an Accident Report Form. Parents are required to read, sign, and return form to your child’s teacher. Minor scrapes will be cleaned with soap and water, bruises and bumps treated with ice. Immediate care for more serious injuries will be referred to our child care Health Consultant or Rescue 911 will be called to transport a seriously injured child. Parents or their emergency contacts (in the event the parents cannot be reached) will be notified.
Please make sure your emergency phone numbers are up-to-date. You MUST have an alternative adult who can pick up your child if you cannot be reached. Parents must make arrangements to pick up a sick or injured child within a half hour. If your child is transported by rescue and 911 is called, we ask parents to fill out an Emergency Contact Form, which is in the enrollment packet.
To help prevent medical emergencies teaching staff:
We hold fire drills once a month in order to prepare for emergency evacuations. Children are escorted out either the main entrance or by alternative exit needed to evacuate safely. In case of a split group we meet at the back fence behind the building. Children are evacuated to the site that is furthest from the emergency. If any fire was present in any building all children would evacuate all buildings for safety. The educator takes the red emergency binder, epi-pen bag, first aid kit, the land-line phone or cellphone, and makes sure everyone is accounted for by taking attendance. We use the emergency red binder that is by the door for evacuation, since this also holds our emergency numbers. In the event of a real fire or disaster, children will be taken to an off-site location or wherever instructed by Public Safety Personnel. Parents will be notified immediately or as soon as it is safe to do so.
CODE RED/Lockdown/Safe Place Plan
Our mission is to provide a safe child care and preschool for our children, employees, and volunteers. Code Red outlines a procedure that is employed in the event that an intruder attempts to invoke harm to children, staff and volunteers at TADA.
How to Respond:
The first person that is aware of the situation, immediately directs nearby children/staff into their classroom or work areas that can be locked and then notifies the Director by phone, radio, cell phone, etc.
The Director or designated staff member announces “Code Red”. This will signal the activation of a LOCKDOWN. Director or designated staff member notifies police by calling 911.
* In the event of a CODE RED/Lockdown/Safe Place Plan we will use the nationally accepted “RED BIRD PLAN” for our children. This plan has been used successfully for many years as a way of preparing children for dangerous situations in a developmentally appropriate way.
The classroom has a place designated as the RED BIRD NEST. The phrase “RED BIRDS FLY TO YOUR NEST” is the signal for children and teachers to go to the designated area. We will remain there until an “all clear” signal is given. We will have a cellphone or landline, red emergency binder, lockdown kit is stored in a room for water/snacks, porta-potty, doors will be locked in the room, shades will be drawn, attendance will be taken, and everyone will be crowded and a bit uncomfortable, but safe. All emergency numbers are located in the lockdown kit as well. The plan is used as a preventative and proactive response to anticipated emergencies. Due to the unpredictable nature of these types of situations, no guarantee of safety shall be implied through the use of the RED BIRD PLAN. However, the regular practice and training of staff will be a step in response to dangerous or threatening situations. We hope, as you do, to never have to use this plan in a real situation.
Emergency Supplies/Lockdown Kit:
For an emergency lasting 72 hours or less, we have supplies in eight basic categories that are stored in a large sturdy container called our “Lockdown Kit”:
In the event we had to create a “Shelter-in-Place Plan” we would seal the room with duct tape, close and lock all doors and windows to the outside. Turn off all heating systems by heating the control panel, turn off all air conditioners, and switch intakes to the closed position. We would turn off exhaust fans in the bathroom, seal gaps around window-type air conditioners with duct tape, close as many internal doors as possible.
We would use tape and plastic food wrapping, wax paper or aluminum wrap to cover bathroom exhausts, grilles, range vents, dryer vents, and other openings to the extent possible. We would seal any obvious gaps around external windows and doors. Close shades for additional protection. Water and clothes located in red emergency lockdown kits. If vapors begin to bother the staff and children, hold wet cloths or handkerchiefs over the nose and mouth of children and staff. We will access emergency supplies for snacks and activities if needed.
If children are on the premises in the event of severe weather, we will proceed to the Safe Place Room inside TADA which is Studio A dance room. A teacher will take the red emergency binder with emergency numbers, a landline or cellphone, epi-pen bag, the first aid kit, and move all children to the Safe Place Room that has our lockdown kit and snacks and water. Attendance will be taken and parents will be notified immediately or as soon as it is safe to do so.
Emergency Transportation Permission Agreement
Parents will have an Emergency Transportation Permission Agreement Form inside their child’s enrollment packet giving TADA permission to have staff and teachers transport your child to an emergency relocation site if children were unsafe and couldn’t remain at the child care facility. Parents will need to understand that normal safety rules will be followed as much as possible, but the highest priority is to relocate to a safe location.
Emergency Drills & Procedures Checklist
After the Emergency
After the emergency is the time to REAP the benefits: Recover, Evaluate, and Plan.
Recovery From the Emergency
Recovery means to return to normal operations. This may be a long-term process depending on the damages incurred. However, it is important to get back up and running as quickly as possible. We would need to be aware of the physical and mental health and safety of children and staff.
We put a lot of time and thought into preparing for an emergency. Now that we would have survived one, we would evaluate how our plan actually worked, and what would work better next time.
We would meet with our original planning partners and assess how each step in the plan worked for children, parents, staff, and local emergency officials.
Now is the time to plan for the next emergency.
Providing Emotional Support to Children After a Trauma
Young children, toddlers, and preschoolers know when bad things happen, and respond to emergency events with limited understanding or are unable to talk about their needs. As the people, places and routines they depend on for safety and care are affected, children need help. The better prepared that caregivers are, the more helpful they can be to others around them, especially children.
Children depend physically and emotionally on their caregivers. Children’s reactions depend on their age and how close they were to an upsetting event; their exposure to watching TV or hearing radio reports, and how they see their caregivers reacting. During an emergency, young children need their caregivers to know how to respond, including where to go, what to do, things to take and how to reunite them with their family. Children need help as they don’t fully understand how to keep themselves safe. Young children may freeze, cry or scream. Mental stress from a crisis event can be harder on children as they feel less in control, and have less experience in bouncing back from hard situations.
After a scary event, we often see changes in children’s behavior. Preschool children may feel helpless, upset or frightened about being separated from their parents or caregiver. They may develop aches and pains, such as stomach or headaches. It is common for preschool children to become clingy with a caregiver or need to stay in a place they feel is safe. They may fear strangers, darkness or monsters. They may cry more, have temper tantrums, withdraw from people and not play with their toys, hit others, have problems sleeping or bed wetting, become afraid of the dark or things that did not bother them before, or lose skills they previously had. These changes are a sign that they need extra help.
In most children, these common changes will be temporary. Children who were directly exposed to a disaster or have special needs can become upset again and these changes may resurface if they see or hear reminders about what happened. If they continue to be very upset, if their behaviors hurt their activities or important relationships after six weeks, then a referral to a professional provider who specializes in children’s needs may be appropriate.
Ways Caregivers Know How to Help After a Traumatic Event
The young child feels safe when:
Focus on safety first:
Follow the child’s lead:
Allow children to express their feelings and worries:
Help them reconnect with supportive people, community, culture and rituals:
Offer them support and acceptance:
Covid-19 Protocols and Procedures Subject to change as pandemic resolves or changes
Unquestionably, this will be an unusual situation that will look and feel very different because this is an ever changing circumstance. Since, Covid-19 TADA is making efforts to create fun, safe, and positive experiences for children. There is no guarantee that anyplace, especially a childcare environment, is perfectly safe from COVID-19. The risks of contracting and spreading COVID-19 are well documented and we trust all of our families to make the best choice for their child in terms of attending our program. We strive to do what we can to mitigate the risks as much as possible, acknowledging that we cannot eliminate all risk. In order to succeed we will commit to efforts that minimize exposure and spread of the virus and will need your cooperation, commitment, and partnership now more than ever.
Advisory for Children and Parents with Health Concerns
Children and Parents at high risk for COVID-19 should consult with their medical provider to determine if having your child attend is a reasonably safe option. Some high risks include but are not limited to:
If you drop off your child at childcare, it means you are agreeing to our policies and procedures and have confirmed to the best of your ability that:
Drop Off and Pick Up
To make drop off and pick up times as efficient and safe as possible, we ask that parents to say goodbye to their child at the entrance if drop off is inside or on the playground with an educator if drop off is outside.
Self care practices will be heavily emphasized and enforced throughout the day.
Children will be instructed in the way the CDC recommends hand washing and that is age appropriate for the children attending. The importance of hand washing before and after eating, after touching frequently touched surfaces and items, after using the restroom, and after sneezing/coughing/blowing nose will be reinforced.
Communal spaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. Measures will be taken to clean some areas multiple times of day if needed. Spaces shared by other groups of children will be cleaned between use when practical. Equipment will also be cleaned between groups of children. Emphasis will be on sanitizing frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, railings, and light switches, children’s cubbies, and fridge where lunch boxes are stored.
Monitoring Health Conditions
As outlined in the parent expectations section, parents will need to monitor their own child’s temperature and symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately report concerns to TADA.
Many symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, are normal illnesses children would suffer in a normal preschool year. This year our threshold for letting kids stay for the day will not be allowed. Out of an abundance of caution, children will be sent home if they have the following:
Children exhibiting any of these symptoms will wait in a designated isolated area until they can be picked up. Children may return to childcare/preschool if:
Many people, children especially, do not show obvious signs of COVID-19. While we will diligently monitor the health of our children, we will not be able to detect all cases of COVID-19.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a classroom, a plan is in place to:
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