Use this checklist to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep children safe. You will learn more about many of these strategies in the Safe Environments, Healthy Environments, Social & Emotional Development, and Positive Guidance courses. For now, continue to learn all you can about these strategies from your trainer, coach, or family child care administrator.
Protecting Children from Abuse and Neglect at Home and in the Community:
- I know each child and family by name.
- I talk to families regularly about their lives at home (celebrations, stressors, jobs, deployment, child care arrangements, questions about their child’s development, etc.).
- I know the signs of stress in families.
- I model positive child guidance techniques.
- I provide parent education or community resources.
- I encourage families to spend time at the program.
- I talk to children regularly about their friends and experiences at home.
- If I notice a strange bruise, mark, or injury, I ask the family and/or the child about it.
Protecting Myself from Allegations of Child Abuse & Neglect:
- I make sure adult-to-child ratios are posted, understood, and followed at all times.
- I use active supervision strategies; I can see and hear children at all times.
- I complete written incident reports whenever an injury or potential injury occurs.
- I understand that cameras or other surveillance equipment can be a tool that can protect me from allegations (e.g., I could have a secure webcam available for families to access while at work).
- I do not allow unauthorized visitors in my family child care home. All visitors must sign-in during child care hours.
- I conduct a daily health screening when a child arrives. I write down any illnesses, marks, or bruises. If I notice any unusual marks, I ask the parent and child what happened.
- I make sure that the windows to my classroom are uncovered, so administrators and others can see into my classroom.
- I do not allow children to go into closets, sheds, or workrooms (with or without an adult) where they cannot be seen.
- I never use/threaten-to-use corporal punishment (ie:paddling).
- I never force a child to be touched (hold my hand, hug, be carried, have his or her back rubbed, etc.) unless it is for immediate safety concerns.
- I make sure children never leave my home with someone other than their parent or guardian without written permission from parents.
- I know and use positive child guidance techniques. I know strategies to prevent challenging behavior. I know how to respond in a positive way.
- I have written and shared a policy about discipline, guidance, and appropriate touch with the families enrolled in my program and all those who may assist me in caring for children in my home.