There are so many factors that are important when choosing the right child care provider, but above all else we want our children cared for in a safe environment. Kids in Danger (KID) has pulled together a list of safety questions to ask your provider to make sure your child is in a safe space.
What you could ask: How do you keep up with children’s products recalls?
What the provider should say: The provider should be telling you that they are signed up to receive recall alert notices from either the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and/ or Kids In Danger (KID). If they don’t already receive these alerts, encourage them to sign up for the free service at CPSC.gov or KidsInDanger.org. CPSC will email each time there is a recall; KID will send an email once a month with all the month’s recalls. Bonus: KID’s email alert includes a printable list of recalls for posting.
What you could ask: Have you secured the furniture in your facility?
What the provider should say: They should be saying that they have purchased anchors and brackets so that the TV’s and furniture don’t tip over and pose a safety hazard to children. If they haven’t done this yet, you can recommend they visit any electronic or children’s store and purchase these inexpensive safety devices from the “home safety” section or online.
What you could ask: (If you have an infant) There are new safety standards for cribs that caregivers are required to comply with. Do your cribs meet this new standard?
What the provider should say: The provider should have proof that their crib was manufactured after June 28, 2011 (when the new crib safety law went into effect). Feel free to encourage them to print and post this handy poster that will let other parents know that the caregiver is aware of these new standards. Also, request that providers not use dangerous crib accessories such as crib bumper pads, sleep positioners, and soft bedding as they can pose suffocation, strangulation and fall hazards to children.
What you could ask: (If the children travel by car or van in childcare) Many car seats are not installed correctly. How do you make sure each time the car seat is correctly installed?
What the provider should say: They should say that they have been trained on car seat installation. If you are concerned about the installation of the car seat, encourage the provider to check out their local Safe Kids branch which will have a car seat installation specialist install the car seat for you. They should also mention that they keep up with car seat recalls through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Like CPSC and KID, NHSTA emails car seat recall notices directly to you if you sign up for their free service.
To learn more about the broader concerns involved in choosing a childcare provider, please visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s website at Naeyc.org. For more information on child product safety, please visit KidsInDanger.org.