A sure sign of a high quality child care center is a center that maintains adequate staff-to child ratios. In fact, staff-to child ratios has a major affect on the quality of childcare that children receive in many ways.
” Child-to-staff ratios and group sizes are two of the best indicators for determining the quality of a child care program and they significantly effect many other health and safety issues. Smaller group size is associated with a lower risk of infection in child care. (excerpt from the 13 Indicators of quality childcare report by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
The risk of illness in children between the ages of one and three years of age increases as the group size increases to four or more, whereas children in groups of three or fewer have no more risk of illness than children cared for at home.”
(Bartlett, Orton, & Turner, 1986; Bell, Gleiber, Mercer, Hifer, Guinter, Cohen, Epstein, & Narayanan, 1989). The risk of repeated ear infections increases in one- to six-year old children who attend child care in groups of more than six children (Hardy & Fowler, 1993).
Moreover, when your child care facility is out of child-to-staff ratio, this could result in a citation from your local Child Care Licensing agency; if observed during a licensing visit.
For more information on how to maintain a proper Child-to Staff Ratio at all times in your center, along with having access to downloadable forms and resources links including my Director’s handbook, Join the Center Owner eClub today!
With Quality Care in mind!
Accidents & Injuries occur on a daily basis in Child Care programs. Moreover, it is vital that you develop a system that defines who, how and when accidents & injuries are to be reported to parents.
In fact, parents want to know when their children are injured; and when you communicate injuries to parents; they seem to appreciate the fact that you were open and honest with them.
However, if you fail to report injuries to parents; this could lead to parents being skeptical of you and your program. I would like to share Kim’s story with you.
A week before I wrote this post, one of my former high school classmates, called me about an injury that occurred at her child’s daycare. Kim was very upset that she was not notified until 2 days after the incident occurred and she also discovered that her child was questioned by state officials about the injury.
It was obvious to me that Kim knew the program did not handle the reporting of the injury professionally and she simply wanted some advice. As I consulted her, I considered the following two issues:
- The parent was not notified that her child had caused harm to another child 2-days after the incident
- This incident has affected how Kim feels about her child’s Child Care program.
- Kim was also concerned about staff to child ratio in the classroom at the time of the incident
After listening to Kim’s complaint about the Child Care Program; I was inspired to share Kim’s story with you, to inspire you to think about How you report injuries to parents.
Also I thought I would share helpful tips with you on How to Effectively Report Accidents/Injuries to parents:
- Assess all injuries and administer First Aid if needed
- Document all injuries right away
- Find out why the incident happened and what you can do to prevent the incident from occurring again
- Notify the parent right away; if a head injury, bleeding, bruising or fracture occurred. If the injury is minor, be sure to call the parent before pick-up time; so that you are not approaching parents with bad news at pick-up time.
- Require that the parent & staff member sign the incident report and be sure to give the parent a copy.
What do you think about Kim’s story? Also, feel free to share your procedures for reporting injuries to parents.