Emergency Planning

Daycare Emergency Plans: Preparing for the Unthinkable

Joel Lim

|

January 9, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

daycare emergency plans

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Danger lurks on every corner and can strike at any time, so daycares need an emergency action plan. However, developing emergency plans is quite complex. It requires critical thinking, identifying all risks and effective communication strategies.

We’ll explore the purpose of an emergency daycare plan and explain why it’s essential. We’ll also list the steps to develop an effective plan and give details on how to do a successful evacuation.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency daycare plans create strict protocols for staff to follow to ensure the children’s safety. Failing to protect the children can lead to lawsuits from the parents and serious harm to the kids.


  • Developing a daycare emergency plan requires identifying all potential threats and determining an effective call to action toward the threats. 


  • Improving the effectiveness of an emergency daycare plan should include frequent drills and having alternative strategies in place in case you can’t achieve the original protocol.


Why Are Daycare Emergency Plans Important?

why are daycare emergency plans important

Daycare emergency plans are set procedures that ensure the safety of the children under the facility’s care during an emergency. They establish a clear plan on what to do to help prevent harm to children under their legal responsibility.

Emergency plans allow for a rapid, organized response when time is limited. They should be well-thought-out and practiced by staff and faculty at the daycare center to ensure an effective response.

Daycare emergency plans cover a wide range of potential threats. Some typical emergencies include natural disasters, injuries, or any other forms of environmental damage to children.

Daycares that fail to establish effective emergency plans are often at risk for lawsuits. If a child gets hurt due to poor response and lack of planning, the parents could sue the daycare for negligence. 

Besides avoiding lawsuits, having an emergency daycare plan to keep the children safe helps reassure parents and guardians that their kids are in good hands. This leads to better business from invested parents.


How to Craft Your Daycare Emergency Plans

Developing emergency plans for your daycare requires carefully considering and evaluating potential risks. It will require thorough planning to be effective. Here are some guidelines to streamline the process.

Analyze Relevant Risks

The first step in developing your daycare emergency plan is to analyze and identify all the relevant risks that could occur.

You can achieve this by conducting a risk assessment. A general suggestion is to think about all the possible things that could go wrong and plan for what could realistically happen.

Start by evaluating the potential for natural disasters. Think about risks such as forest wildfires, earthquakes or floods. You can research your area’s most common natural disasters to understand what to prepare for. You also want procedures for injuries and illnesses.

Document Essential Information

Creating a document containing a list of important contacts and information about the children is crucial for developing an emergency daycare plan, as it allows for a quick response to an emergency.

Your documents should include several sources offering specialized services for specific emergencies. Some recommendations are poison control, local fire departments and protective services.

Be sure to have another document containing the numbers of parents to call when an emergency occurs. If an incident happens where their child gets hurt, you are obligated to call and let them know the details.

Additionally, contact information for the children’s primary care doctor and information about allergies or medical conditions is essential for emergency situations.

You can store these documents in an organized and secure way with Trustworthy. We use bank-level security to ensure there’s no unauthorized access and organize all your essential daycare documents in one place.

Document Roles and Responsibilities

Daycare facilities should document the roles of every staff member and have a list accessible to ensure fast communications during an emergency.

Having defined roles can help reduce panic when an emergency happens due to the staff knowing who to contact when the event occurs. It can lead to better coordination and effective responses to address the issue.

Having everyone in contact also streamlines the communication process and keeps everyone accountable. If an incident happens to a child when a certain employee works that shift, it’s easier to reach out to them to gather the details of what happened during that time.

Document Necessary Items

Sometimes, having essential items to take with you during an emergency can be beneficial in mitigating risks and harm to the children. This is why documenting such items should be considered when building an emergency plan.

Items such as three-supply bags containing food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, whistles, and batteries can be helpful during emergencies when it is unsafe to return home or leave the environment. Typically, these items should be grab-and-go for fast access.

Kathy Ansell, a home daycare owner, emphasizes the need for an emergency bag to be easily accessible and to bring it whenever you go outside. She explains:

“This I keep by my front door inside my bench. This comes with me whenever I leave the house, whether it’s to go for a walk, go to the car, or anything like that, this comes with me.”

Creating a document that keeps track of the stock and location of these emergency items is recommended. There should be one emergency bag per child. Whenever the facility expands, the stock should be updated to reflect the amount of items available to the number of children enrolled at the daycare.


Create Emergency Procedures

Once you identify all the potential risks and organize the contacts, you can develop the official emergency procedures for the daycare staff to follow.

Every emergency requires a different approach in protocols to address the issue. This could involve contacting different emergency response teams or other communication plans.

Your daycare facility should be able to classify the types of emergencies important to plan for (natural disasters, injuries, power outages, etc.) and have a plan to approach them as effectively as possible. 

You must include every single detail in your evacuation plan, including specific student special needs.


Emergency Plan Procedures for Evacuations

Evacuation procedures need to be orderly and follow the protocols in place to be effective. 

Evacuation plans should include information about the nearest exit and formations needed to fill the space as fast as possible. Consider children with special needs when plotting the most efficient, accessible routes, and plan these factors accordingly.

Both on-site and offsite protocols differ slightly but ultimately function the same and demand the same attention to following the necessary steps to achieve children's safety.

For on-site evacuations, start by hitting the alarm bell, and then gather the children to head to the designated meeting spot. If possible, grab the following items before you and your children head out:

  • Attendance sheet

  • Emergency contact information

  • First aid kit

  • Essential medications for children who need it

  • Cell phone

  • Essential items like food, water, and diapers

Ensure you have all the children you are responsible for and leave for a designated meeting spot (planned in advance) on-site. Once there, account for all children, staff and visitors.

For off-site evacuations, gather the children and head to the designated meeting spot. Gather the recommended items mentioned in the list above to take with you.

Lastly, before leaving the facility, leave a note detailing where you and the children are going. Once you reach the spot located off-site, reach out to emergency contacts and patients detailing the events of the emergency.


Emergency Plan Procedure for Shelter-in-Place

In events where leaving the facility is too dangerous, sheltering in place is recommended. Typically, shelter-in-place scenarios are for emergency procedures dealing with certain natural disasters, pandemics, lockdowns, and missing or kidnapped children.

To determine if a shelter-in-place is necessary, identify the emergency threat to declare it as an option. Once identified, pursue the appropriate procedures.

To begin a shelter-in-place, gather the children and head to a designated shelter area. Engage in communication protocols, such as informing emergency contacts and other staff members about what is happening on your end.

Gather the essential items, such as food, water, medications, phones, blankets and diapers. The duration of a shelter-in-place can vary by hours or days depending on the situation, so you should try to have the necessary items for an extended period.

Once at the designated shelter area, remain there until you’re given the OK to leave.


Tips for Ensuring Your Daycare Emergency Plan is Effective

tips for ensuring your daycare emergency plan is effective

Emergency daycare plans take a lot of planning and implementation. To get the most out of the plan, practice and update it over time. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your daycare emergency plan.

Plan for Different Scenarios

The emergency daycare plan is only as effective as how much thought goes into it. The most effective plans consider all the possible scenarios that could happen after an emergency has occurred.

Consider having alternative protocols in place if something occurs that would make the original procedure unachievable. For example, having an alternative meeting place or alternative contacts is a good backup solution in certain instances.

Risk assessments should also identify potential threats that could disrupt the protocols. Identifying them and having a plan to address them can help tighten the emergency daycare plan.

Practice Regular Drills

Practicing drills should be mandatory for your daycare facility to demonstrate their effectiveness and to improve areas that need to change.

The frequency of the drills can vary, but doing at least two to three a year is recommended. If the results from the drill are lackluster and need improvement, then more should be planned until the plan becomes effective.

Ensure the Plan Is Easily Accessible

When developing an emergency plan, it should be easily accessible for staff to understand the protocols well.

Having the emergency plan in an easy-to-read format is beneficial for all staff to recall it when necessary. Also, place physical copies accordingly if there is a power outage or problem with devices that affect access to the digital copy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you handle emergency situations in a daycare?

If an emergency occurs at daycare, try to stay calm and assess the situation. Once determined, gather the children and follow the protocols in place. Follow any communication guidelines put in place as well.

What emergencies should kids know about?

The most common emergencies that kids should know about are fire safety, identifying choking, knowing when a stranger is approaching them, and staying indoors when there is potentially hazardous weather. Teaching the kids these emergency situations can help make following procedures easier.

How do you teach children emergency preparedness?

The most effective way to teach kids about emergency preparedness is to inform and practice with them. Frequent drills can help achieve this, but creating activities outside the drills that make it more entertaining for the children helps make it more engaging for them to learn.

Emergency Planning

Daycare Emergency Plans: Preparing for the Unthinkable

Joel Lim

|

January 9, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Danger lurks on every corner and can strike at any time, so daycares need an emergency action plan. However, developing emergency plans is quite complex. It requires critical thinking, identifying all risks and effective communication strategies.

We’ll explore the purpose of an emergency daycare plan and explain why it’s essential. We’ll also list the steps to develop an effective plan and give details on how to do a successful evacuation.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency daycare plans create strict protocols for staff to follow to ensure the children’s safety. Failing to protect the children can lead to lawsuits from the parents and serious harm to the kids.


  • Developing a daycare emergency plan requires identifying all potential threats and determining an effective call to action toward the threats. 


  • Improving the effectiveness of an emergency daycare plan should include frequent drills and having alternative strategies in place in case you can’t achieve the original protocol.


Why Are Daycare Emergency Plans Important?

why are daycare emergency plans important

Daycare emergency plans are set procedures that ensure the safety of the children under the facility’s care during an emergency. They establish a clear plan on what to do to help prevent harm to children under their legal responsibility.

Emergency plans allow for a rapid, organized response when time is limited. They should be well-thought-out and practiced by staff and faculty at the daycare center to ensure an effective response.

Daycare emergency plans cover a wide range of potential threats. Some typical emergencies include natural disasters, injuries, or any other forms of environmental damage to children.

Daycares that fail to establish effective emergency plans are often at risk for lawsuits. If a child gets hurt due to poor response and lack of planning, the parents could sue the daycare for negligence. 

Besides avoiding lawsuits, having an emergency daycare plan to keep the children safe helps reassure parents and guardians that their kids are in good hands. This leads to better business from invested parents.


How to Craft Your Daycare Emergency Plans

Developing emergency plans for your daycare requires carefully considering and evaluating potential risks. It will require thorough planning to be effective. Here are some guidelines to streamline the process.

Analyze Relevant Risks

The first step in developing your daycare emergency plan is to analyze and identify all the relevant risks that could occur.

You can achieve this by conducting a risk assessment. A general suggestion is to think about all the possible things that could go wrong and plan for what could realistically happen.

Start by evaluating the potential for natural disasters. Think about risks such as forest wildfires, earthquakes or floods. You can research your area’s most common natural disasters to understand what to prepare for. You also want procedures for injuries and illnesses.

Document Essential Information

Creating a document containing a list of important contacts and information about the children is crucial for developing an emergency daycare plan, as it allows for a quick response to an emergency.

Your documents should include several sources offering specialized services for specific emergencies. Some recommendations are poison control, local fire departments and protective services.

Be sure to have another document containing the numbers of parents to call when an emergency occurs. If an incident happens where their child gets hurt, you are obligated to call and let them know the details.

Additionally, contact information for the children’s primary care doctor and information about allergies or medical conditions is essential for emergency situations.

You can store these documents in an organized and secure way with Trustworthy. We use bank-level security to ensure there’s no unauthorized access and organize all your essential daycare documents in one place.

Document Roles and Responsibilities

Daycare facilities should document the roles of every staff member and have a list accessible to ensure fast communications during an emergency.

Having defined roles can help reduce panic when an emergency happens due to the staff knowing who to contact when the event occurs. It can lead to better coordination and effective responses to address the issue.

Having everyone in contact also streamlines the communication process and keeps everyone accountable. If an incident happens to a child when a certain employee works that shift, it’s easier to reach out to them to gather the details of what happened during that time.

Document Necessary Items

Sometimes, having essential items to take with you during an emergency can be beneficial in mitigating risks and harm to the children. This is why documenting such items should be considered when building an emergency plan.

Items such as three-supply bags containing food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, whistles, and batteries can be helpful during emergencies when it is unsafe to return home or leave the environment. Typically, these items should be grab-and-go for fast access.

Kathy Ansell, a home daycare owner, emphasizes the need for an emergency bag to be easily accessible and to bring it whenever you go outside. She explains:

“This I keep by my front door inside my bench. This comes with me whenever I leave the house, whether it’s to go for a walk, go to the car, or anything like that, this comes with me.”

Creating a document that keeps track of the stock and location of these emergency items is recommended. There should be one emergency bag per child. Whenever the facility expands, the stock should be updated to reflect the amount of items available to the number of children enrolled at the daycare.


Create Emergency Procedures

Once you identify all the potential risks and organize the contacts, you can develop the official emergency procedures for the daycare staff to follow.

Every emergency requires a different approach in protocols to address the issue. This could involve contacting different emergency response teams or other communication plans.

Your daycare facility should be able to classify the types of emergencies important to plan for (natural disasters, injuries, power outages, etc.) and have a plan to approach them as effectively as possible. 

You must include every single detail in your evacuation plan, including specific student special needs.


Emergency Plan Procedures for Evacuations

Evacuation procedures need to be orderly and follow the protocols in place to be effective. 

Evacuation plans should include information about the nearest exit and formations needed to fill the space as fast as possible. Consider children with special needs when plotting the most efficient, accessible routes, and plan these factors accordingly.

Both on-site and offsite protocols differ slightly but ultimately function the same and demand the same attention to following the necessary steps to achieve children's safety.

For on-site evacuations, start by hitting the alarm bell, and then gather the children to head to the designated meeting spot. If possible, grab the following items before you and your children head out:

  • Attendance sheet

  • Emergency contact information

  • First aid kit

  • Essential medications for children who need it

  • Cell phone

  • Essential items like food, water, and diapers

Ensure you have all the children you are responsible for and leave for a designated meeting spot (planned in advance) on-site. Once there, account for all children, staff and visitors.

For off-site evacuations, gather the children and head to the designated meeting spot. Gather the recommended items mentioned in the list above to take with you.

Lastly, before leaving the facility, leave a note detailing where you and the children are going. Once you reach the spot located off-site, reach out to emergency contacts and patients detailing the events of the emergency.


Emergency Plan Procedure for Shelter-in-Place

In events where leaving the facility is too dangerous, sheltering in place is recommended. Typically, shelter-in-place scenarios are for emergency procedures dealing with certain natural disasters, pandemics, lockdowns, and missing or kidnapped children.

To determine if a shelter-in-place is necessary, identify the emergency threat to declare it as an option. Once identified, pursue the appropriate procedures.

To begin a shelter-in-place, gather the children and head to a designated shelter area. Engage in communication protocols, such as informing emergency contacts and other staff members about what is happening on your end.

Gather the essential items, such as food, water, medications, phones, blankets and diapers. The duration of a shelter-in-place can vary by hours or days depending on the situation, so you should try to have the necessary items for an extended period.

Once at the designated shelter area, remain there until you’re given the OK to leave.


Tips for Ensuring Your Daycare Emergency Plan is Effective

tips for ensuring your daycare emergency plan is effective

Emergency daycare plans take a lot of planning and implementation. To get the most out of the plan, practice and update it over time. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your daycare emergency plan.

Plan for Different Scenarios

The emergency daycare plan is only as effective as how much thought goes into it. The most effective plans consider all the possible scenarios that could happen after an emergency has occurred.

Consider having alternative protocols in place if something occurs that would make the original procedure unachievable. For example, having an alternative meeting place or alternative contacts is a good backup solution in certain instances.

Risk assessments should also identify potential threats that could disrupt the protocols. Identifying them and having a plan to address them can help tighten the emergency daycare plan.

Practice Regular Drills

Practicing drills should be mandatory for your daycare facility to demonstrate their effectiveness and to improve areas that need to change.

The frequency of the drills can vary, but doing at least two to three a year is recommended. If the results from the drill are lackluster and need improvement, then more should be planned until the plan becomes effective.

Ensure the Plan Is Easily Accessible

When developing an emergency plan, it should be easily accessible for staff to understand the protocols well.

Having the emergency plan in an easy-to-read format is beneficial for all staff to recall it when necessary. Also, place physical copies accordingly if there is a power outage or problem with devices that affect access to the digital copy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you handle emergency situations in a daycare?

If an emergency occurs at daycare, try to stay calm and assess the situation. Once determined, gather the children and follow the protocols in place. Follow any communication guidelines put in place as well.

What emergencies should kids know about?

The most common emergencies that kids should know about are fire safety, identifying choking, knowing when a stranger is approaching them, and staying indoors when there is potentially hazardous weather. Teaching the kids these emergency situations can help make following procedures easier.

How do you teach children emergency preparedness?

The most effective way to teach kids about emergency preparedness is to inform and practice with them. Frequent drills can help achieve this, but creating activities outside the drills that make it more entertaining for the children helps make it more engaging for them to learn.

Emergency Planning

Daycare Emergency Plans: Preparing for the Unthinkable

Joel Lim

|

January 9, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

daycare emergency plans

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Danger lurks on every corner and can strike at any time, so daycares need an emergency action plan. However, developing emergency plans is quite complex. It requires critical thinking, identifying all risks and effective communication strategies.

We’ll explore the purpose of an emergency daycare plan and explain why it’s essential. We’ll also list the steps to develop an effective plan and give details on how to do a successful evacuation.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency daycare plans create strict protocols for staff to follow to ensure the children’s safety. Failing to protect the children can lead to lawsuits from the parents and serious harm to the kids.


  • Developing a daycare emergency plan requires identifying all potential threats and determining an effective call to action toward the threats. 


  • Improving the effectiveness of an emergency daycare plan should include frequent drills and having alternative strategies in place in case you can’t achieve the original protocol.


Why Are Daycare Emergency Plans Important?

why are daycare emergency plans important

Daycare emergency plans are set procedures that ensure the safety of the children under the facility’s care during an emergency. They establish a clear plan on what to do to help prevent harm to children under their legal responsibility.

Emergency plans allow for a rapid, organized response when time is limited. They should be well-thought-out and practiced by staff and faculty at the daycare center to ensure an effective response.

Daycare emergency plans cover a wide range of potential threats. Some typical emergencies include natural disasters, injuries, or any other forms of environmental damage to children.

Daycares that fail to establish effective emergency plans are often at risk for lawsuits. If a child gets hurt due to poor response and lack of planning, the parents could sue the daycare for negligence. 

Besides avoiding lawsuits, having an emergency daycare plan to keep the children safe helps reassure parents and guardians that their kids are in good hands. This leads to better business from invested parents.


How to Craft Your Daycare Emergency Plans

Developing emergency plans for your daycare requires carefully considering and evaluating potential risks. It will require thorough planning to be effective. Here are some guidelines to streamline the process.

Analyze Relevant Risks

The first step in developing your daycare emergency plan is to analyze and identify all the relevant risks that could occur.

You can achieve this by conducting a risk assessment. A general suggestion is to think about all the possible things that could go wrong and plan for what could realistically happen.

Start by evaluating the potential for natural disasters. Think about risks such as forest wildfires, earthquakes or floods. You can research your area’s most common natural disasters to understand what to prepare for. You also want procedures for injuries and illnesses.

Document Essential Information

Creating a document containing a list of important contacts and information about the children is crucial for developing an emergency daycare plan, as it allows for a quick response to an emergency.

Your documents should include several sources offering specialized services for specific emergencies. Some recommendations are poison control, local fire departments and protective services.

Be sure to have another document containing the numbers of parents to call when an emergency occurs. If an incident happens where their child gets hurt, you are obligated to call and let them know the details.

Additionally, contact information for the children’s primary care doctor and information about allergies or medical conditions is essential for emergency situations.

You can store these documents in an organized and secure way with Trustworthy. We use bank-level security to ensure there’s no unauthorized access and organize all your essential daycare documents in one place.

Document Roles and Responsibilities

Daycare facilities should document the roles of every staff member and have a list accessible to ensure fast communications during an emergency.

Having defined roles can help reduce panic when an emergency happens due to the staff knowing who to contact when the event occurs. It can lead to better coordination and effective responses to address the issue.

Having everyone in contact also streamlines the communication process and keeps everyone accountable. If an incident happens to a child when a certain employee works that shift, it’s easier to reach out to them to gather the details of what happened during that time.

Document Necessary Items

Sometimes, having essential items to take with you during an emergency can be beneficial in mitigating risks and harm to the children. This is why documenting such items should be considered when building an emergency plan.

Items such as three-supply bags containing food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, whistles, and batteries can be helpful during emergencies when it is unsafe to return home or leave the environment. Typically, these items should be grab-and-go for fast access.

Kathy Ansell, a home daycare owner, emphasizes the need for an emergency bag to be easily accessible and to bring it whenever you go outside. She explains:

“This I keep by my front door inside my bench. This comes with me whenever I leave the house, whether it’s to go for a walk, go to the car, or anything like that, this comes with me.”

Creating a document that keeps track of the stock and location of these emergency items is recommended. There should be one emergency bag per child. Whenever the facility expands, the stock should be updated to reflect the amount of items available to the number of children enrolled at the daycare.


Create Emergency Procedures

Once you identify all the potential risks and organize the contacts, you can develop the official emergency procedures for the daycare staff to follow.

Every emergency requires a different approach in protocols to address the issue. This could involve contacting different emergency response teams or other communication plans.

Your daycare facility should be able to classify the types of emergencies important to plan for (natural disasters, injuries, power outages, etc.) and have a plan to approach them as effectively as possible. 

You must include every single detail in your evacuation plan, including specific student special needs.


Emergency Plan Procedures for Evacuations

Evacuation procedures need to be orderly and follow the protocols in place to be effective. 

Evacuation plans should include information about the nearest exit and formations needed to fill the space as fast as possible. Consider children with special needs when plotting the most efficient, accessible routes, and plan these factors accordingly.

Both on-site and offsite protocols differ slightly but ultimately function the same and demand the same attention to following the necessary steps to achieve children's safety.

For on-site evacuations, start by hitting the alarm bell, and then gather the children to head to the designated meeting spot. If possible, grab the following items before you and your children head out:

  • Attendance sheet

  • Emergency contact information

  • First aid kit

  • Essential medications for children who need it

  • Cell phone

  • Essential items like food, water, and diapers

Ensure you have all the children you are responsible for and leave for a designated meeting spot (planned in advance) on-site. Once there, account for all children, staff and visitors.

For off-site evacuations, gather the children and head to the designated meeting spot. Gather the recommended items mentioned in the list above to take with you.

Lastly, before leaving the facility, leave a note detailing where you and the children are going. Once you reach the spot located off-site, reach out to emergency contacts and patients detailing the events of the emergency.


Emergency Plan Procedure for Shelter-in-Place

In events where leaving the facility is too dangerous, sheltering in place is recommended. Typically, shelter-in-place scenarios are for emergency procedures dealing with certain natural disasters, pandemics, lockdowns, and missing or kidnapped children.

To determine if a shelter-in-place is necessary, identify the emergency threat to declare it as an option. Once identified, pursue the appropriate procedures.

To begin a shelter-in-place, gather the children and head to a designated shelter area. Engage in communication protocols, such as informing emergency contacts and other staff members about what is happening on your end.

Gather the essential items, such as food, water, medications, phones, blankets and diapers. The duration of a shelter-in-place can vary by hours or days depending on the situation, so you should try to have the necessary items for an extended period.

Once at the designated shelter area, remain there until you’re given the OK to leave.


Tips for Ensuring Your Daycare Emergency Plan is Effective

tips for ensuring your daycare emergency plan is effective

Emergency daycare plans take a lot of planning and implementation. To get the most out of the plan, practice and update it over time. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your daycare emergency plan.

Plan for Different Scenarios

The emergency daycare plan is only as effective as how much thought goes into it. The most effective plans consider all the possible scenarios that could happen after an emergency has occurred.

Consider having alternative protocols in place if something occurs that would make the original procedure unachievable. For example, having an alternative meeting place or alternative contacts is a good backup solution in certain instances.

Risk assessments should also identify potential threats that could disrupt the protocols. Identifying them and having a plan to address them can help tighten the emergency daycare plan.

Practice Regular Drills

Practicing drills should be mandatory for your daycare facility to demonstrate their effectiveness and to improve areas that need to change.

The frequency of the drills can vary, but doing at least two to three a year is recommended. If the results from the drill are lackluster and need improvement, then more should be planned until the plan becomes effective.

Ensure the Plan Is Easily Accessible

When developing an emergency plan, it should be easily accessible for staff to understand the protocols well.

Having the emergency plan in an easy-to-read format is beneficial for all staff to recall it when necessary. Also, place physical copies accordingly if there is a power outage or problem with devices that affect access to the digital copy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you handle emergency situations in a daycare?

If an emergency occurs at daycare, try to stay calm and assess the situation. Once determined, gather the children and follow the protocols in place. Follow any communication guidelines put in place as well.

What emergencies should kids know about?

The most common emergencies that kids should know about are fire safety, identifying choking, knowing when a stranger is approaching them, and staying indoors when there is potentially hazardous weather. Teaching the kids these emergency situations can help make following procedures easier.

How do you teach children emergency preparedness?

The most effective way to teach kids about emergency preparedness is to inform and practice with them. Frequent drills can help achieve this, but creating activities outside the drills that make it more entertaining for the children helps make it more engaging for them to learn.

Emergency Planning

Daycare Emergency Plans: Preparing for the Unthinkable

Joel Lim

|

January 9, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

daycare emergency plans

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Danger lurks on every corner and can strike at any time, so daycares need an emergency action plan. However, developing emergency plans is quite complex. It requires critical thinking, identifying all risks and effective communication strategies.

We’ll explore the purpose of an emergency daycare plan and explain why it’s essential. We’ll also list the steps to develop an effective plan and give details on how to do a successful evacuation.

Key Takeaways

  • Emergency daycare plans create strict protocols for staff to follow to ensure the children’s safety. Failing to protect the children can lead to lawsuits from the parents and serious harm to the kids.


  • Developing a daycare emergency plan requires identifying all potential threats and determining an effective call to action toward the threats. 


  • Improving the effectiveness of an emergency daycare plan should include frequent drills and having alternative strategies in place in case you can’t achieve the original protocol.


Why Are Daycare Emergency Plans Important?

why are daycare emergency plans important

Daycare emergency plans are set procedures that ensure the safety of the children under the facility’s care during an emergency. They establish a clear plan on what to do to help prevent harm to children under their legal responsibility.

Emergency plans allow for a rapid, organized response when time is limited. They should be well-thought-out and practiced by staff and faculty at the daycare center to ensure an effective response.

Daycare emergency plans cover a wide range of potential threats. Some typical emergencies include natural disasters, injuries, or any other forms of environmental damage to children.

Daycares that fail to establish effective emergency plans are often at risk for lawsuits. If a child gets hurt due to poor response and lack of planning, the parents could sue the daycare for negligence. 

Besides avoiding lawsuits, having an emergency daycare plan to keep the children safe helps reassure parents and guardians that their kids are in good hands. This leads to better business from invested parents.


How to Craft Your Daycare Emergency Plans

Developing emergency plans for your daycare requires carefully considering and evaluating potential risks. It will require thorough planning to be effective. Here are some guidelines to streamline the process.

Analyze Relevant Risks

The first step in developing your daycare emergency plan is to analyze and identify all the relevant risks that could occur.

You can achieve this by conducting a risk assessment. A general suggestion is to think about all the possible things that could go wrong and plan for what could realistically happen.

Start by evaluating the potential for natural disasters. Think about risks such as forest wildfires, earthquakes or floods. You can research your area’s most common natural disasters to understand what to prepare for. You also want procedures for injuries and illnesses.

Document Essential Information

Creating a document containing a list of important contacts and information about the children is crucial for developing an emergency daycare plan, as it allows for a quick response to an emergency.

Your documents should include several sources offering specialized services for specific emergencies. Some recommendations are poison control, local fire departments and protective services.

Be sure to have another document containing the numbers of parents to call when an emergency occurs. If an incident happens where their child gets hurt, you are obligated to call and let them know the details.

Additionally, contact information for the children’s primary care doctor and information about allergies or medical conditions is essential for emergency situations.

You can store these documents in an organized and secure way with Trustworthy. We use bank-level security to ensure there’s no unauthorized access and organize all your essential daycare documents in one place.

Document Roles and Responsibilities

Daycare facilities should document the roles of every staff member and have a list accessible to ensure fast communications during an emergency.

Having defined roles can help reduce panic when an emergency happens due to the staff knowing who to contact when the event occurs. It can lead to better coordination and effective responses to address the issue.

Having everyone in contact also streamlines the communication process and keeps everyone accountable. If an incident happens to a child when a certain employee works that shift, it’s easier to reach out to them to gather the details of what happened during that time.

Document Necessary Items

Sometimes, having essential items to take with you during an emergency can be beneficial in mitigating risks and harm to the children. This is why documenting such items should be considered when building an emergency plan.

Items such as three-supply bags containing food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, whistles, and batteries can be helpful during emergencies when it is unsafe to return home or leave the environment. Typically, these items should be grab-and-go for fast access.

Kathy Ansell, a home daycare owner, emphasizes the need for an emergency bag to be easily accessible and to bring it whenever you go outside. She explains:

“This I keep by my front door inside my bench. This comes with me whenever I leave the house, whether it’s to go for a walk, go to the car, or anything like that, this comes with me.”

Creating a document that keeps track of the stock and location of these emergency items is recommended. There should be one emergency bag per child. Whenever the facility expands, the stock should be updated to reflect the amount of items available to the number of children enrolled at the daycare.


Create Emergency Procedures

Once you identify all the potential risks and organize the contacts, you can develop the official emergency procedures for the daycare staff to follow.

Every emergency requires a different approach in protocols to address the issue. This could involve contacting different emergency response teams or other communication plans.

Your daycare facility should be able to classify the types of emergencies important to plan for (natural disasters, injuries, power outages, etc.) and have a plan to approach them as effectively as possible. 

You must include every single detail in your evacuation plan, including specific student special needs.


Emergency Plan Procedures for Evacuations

Evacuation procedures need to be orderly and follow the protocols in place to be effective. 

Evacuation plans should include information about the nearest exit and formations needed to fill the space as fast as possible. Consider children with special needs when plotting the most efficient, accessible routes, and plan these factors accordingly.

Both on-site and offsite protocols differ slightly but ultimately function the same and demand the same attention to following the necessary steps to achieve children's safety.

For on-site evacuations, start by hitting the alarm bell, and then gather the children to head to the designated meeting spot. If possible, grab the following items before you and your children head out:

  • Attendance sheet

  • Emergency contact information

  • First aid kit

  • Essential medications for children who need it

  • Cell phone

  • Essential items like food, water, and diapers

Ensure you have all the children you are responsible for and leave for a designated meeting spot (planned in advance) on-site. Once there, account for all children, staff and visitors.

For off-site evacuations, gather the children and head to the designated meeting spot. Gather the recommended items mentioned in the list above to take with you.

Lastly, before leaving the facility, leave a note detailing where you and the children are going. Once you reach the spot located off-site, reach out to emergency contacts and patients detailing the events of the emergency.


Emergency Plan Procedure for Shelter-in-Place

In events where leaving the facility is too dangerous, sheltering in place is recommended. Typically, shelter-in-place scenarios are for emergency procedures dealing with certain natural disasters, pandemics, lockdowns, and missing or kidnapped children.

To determine if a shelter-in-place is necessary, identify the emergency threat to declare it as an option. Once identified, pursue the appropriate procedures.

To begin a shelter-in-place, gather the children and head to a designated shelter area. Engage in communication protocols, such as informing emergency contacts and other staff members about what is happening on your end.

Gather the essential items, such as food, water, medications, phones, blankets and diapers. The duration of a shelter-in-place can vary by hours or days depending on the situation, so you should try to have the necessary items for an extended period.

Once at the designated shelter area, remain there until you’re given the OK to leave.


Tips for Ensuring Your Daycare Emergency Plan is Effective

tips for ensuring your daycare emergency plan is effective

Emergency daycare plans take a lot of planning and implementation. To get the most out of the plan, practice and update it over time. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your daycare emergency plan.

Plan for Different Scenarios

The emergency daycare plan is only as effective as how much thought goes into it. The most effective plans consider all the possible scenarios that could happen after an emergency has occurred.

Consider having alternative protocols in place if something occurs that would make the original procedure unachievable. For example, having an alternative meeting place or alternative contacts is a good backup solution in certain instances.

Risk assessments should also identify potential threats that could disrupt the protocols. Identifying them and having a plan to address them can help tighten the emergency daycare plan.

Practice Regular Drills

Practicing drills should be mandatory for your daycare facility to demonstrate their effectiveness and to improve areas that need to change.

The frequency of the drills can vary, but doing at least two to three a year is recommended. If the results from the drill are lackluster and need improvement, then more should be planned until the plan becomes effective.

Ensure the Plan Is Easily Accessible

When developing an emergency plan, it should be easily accessible for staff to understand the protocols well.

Having the emergency plan in an easy-to-read format is beneficial for all staff to recall it when necessary. Also, place physical copies accordingly if there is a power outage or problem with devices that affect access to the digital copy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you handle emergency situations in a daycare?

If an emergency occurs at daycare, try to stay calm and assess the situation. Once determined, gather the children and follow the protocols in place. Follow any communication guidelines put in place as well.

What emergencies should kids know about?

The most common emergencies that kids should know about are fire safety, identifying choking, knowing when a stranger is approaching them, and staying indoors when there is potentially hazardous weather. Teaching the kids these emergency situations can help make following procedures easier.

How do you teach children emergency preparedness?

The most effective way to teach kids about emergency preparedness is to inform and practice with them. Frequent drills can help achieve this, but creating activities outside the drills that make it more entertaining for the children helps make it more engaging for them to learn.

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Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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