This is a summary of observations made in a children day care. The day care has eight children of between two to three years of age with three childcare workers and the Director. The children’s profile including their photos, as well as the childcare workers have been prepared and stored in a designated folder in the custody of the administration.
The building blue print is consistent with the set up of the facility. The day care class is spacious and allows comfort for the little children. There are effective transitions between the children’s activities due to space. The activities are well handled and are preceded by advance warning such that in case of an emergency, evacuation would be well orchestrated. Childcare workers have setup classroom rules and routines that they periodically examine.
The shutoff valve is located outside and is in an accessible place. As recommended by Marotz ( 200), the day care centre has a set procedure to follow in case of a fire within the facility or within the adjacent buildings. In each room of the day care, there are well-displayed evacuation procedure to familiarize the staff and visitors on the procedure.
The day care has the required number of water hoses, fire evacuation cots, fire blankets and fire extinguishers installed in strategic areas of the building. The childcare workers practice regularly, the fire evacuation procedures, which provide them with fire training that also, include evacuation drills with children. The building does not have long hallways or staircases and the classes are located near the assembly point. However, hallways and all the exits are always kept clear of any obstacle all the time.
In case of a fire emergency, the childcare workers have specific evacuation responsibilities. In the day care, there are three childcare workers for every eight children. In an emergency, two caregivers are supposed to move all the children from the class to the external evacuation assembly point that is located right outside the classroom door. Two childcare workers should put fire emergency cots outside before placing the children in them.
The caregivers are also supposed to take with them keys to the main date. Every person within the facility must follow the caregiver’s direction. Once everybody is assembled at the evacuation point, every child is marked off on the attendance sheet. The third childcare worker has the responsibility of turning off all appliances in the kitchen, laundry and closing off the outdoor area and picks the children emergency food supply.
The Director of the day care on the other hand, is supposed to call the fire department, and collect a call list of all emergency personnel in the area. The director’s main responsibility is to collect staff and visitor sign in/out record as well as to confirm the number of children and childcare workers present. The director has to inform the parents of the evacuation once all the children are safe.
On a personal opinion, this day care is a safe place for the children, childcare workers and the visitors. Adequate safety measures are in place in case of an emergency. The day care is in a simple facility, which is easily accessible, with a playground and well protected with high chain link fence around it. The choice of play equipment is as recommended by Marotz (206).
Marotz, Lynn R. “Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child.” Wadsworth Publishing, 2000. 206-230.