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 Safety, Healthy, Social, and Guidance courses. For now, continue to learn all you can about these strategies from your trainer, administrator, coach, or co-workers.
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.
- 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 and 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 minimize opportunities for adults to be alone with children.
- If I am alone with children, I welcome or request visits from my administrator.
- I understand that cameras or other surveillance equipment is a tool that can protect me from allegations.
- I do not allow unauthorized visitors in my classroom. All visitors must sign-in at the front desk.
- I question adults who are not wearing name tags or visitor badges.
- I conduct a daily health screening when the 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, or threaten to use, corporal punishment like paddling.
- I never force a child to be touched (hold my hand, hug, be carried, have his or her back rubbed, etc.).
- I make sure children never leave the facility with a staff member or volunteer without written permission from parents.
- I do not transport children alone in my personal vehicle.
- 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 read and understand my program’s written policy about discipline, guidance, and appropriate touch.