The horrific damage caused by Hurricane Harvey on the Texas gulf coast reminds us of the profound impact that disasters have on children and adults, resulting in feelings of uncertainty for everyone. Young children do best when their lives have predictable caregivers, schedules, and settings. A disaster can throw all of those things off balance, causing emotional stress and developmental challenges for children.
As you cross off important items on your family’s back-to-school checklist, don’t forget to be proactive in learning more about the emergency plan at your child’s school or child care program. All schools and before/afterschool child care programs should have an emergency plan in place to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations, such as fires, natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.), bomb threats, and dangerous intruders. Ask your child’s teacher or school administrator for details about their plan, and seek clarifications if you do not fully understand components of the plan.
Placing your child in another person’s care can be a difficult and emotional decision. When looking for a child care program, your most important consideration is the safety and well-being of your child. Knowing your child will be cared for in a healthy and secure environment that has appropriate safety measures in place is a top priority. Before making a decision about a child care provider, visit several programs and ask questions, including those related to emergency plans.
July 26, 2016 marks the 26th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990.