Resolve to Be Ready in 2021

January 05, 2021

 

group meeting and preparing

The new year is a great time to reassess and ramp up your child care program’s emergency preparedness plans. Ready.gov encourages families to Resolve to Be Ready and we would like to help child care programs be ready in 2021 as well.

Child Care Emergency Preparedness 

Child care emergency preparedness is important because we know that emergencies happen every dayAs a child care provider, you must be prepared and ready for anything that might come your wayWith proper planning and practice, you can ensure that the children in your care (as well as you and your staff) are safe should disaster strike. Readiness also helps families feel informed and reassured when leaving their children in your care. 

Child Care Emergency Preparedness Checklist 

Use the checklist below to make sure your child care program is prepared for any disaster or emergency that might occur this year. 

  • Write or update your written all-hazards emergency plan. Be sure to include a schedule for practice drills. 
  • Ensure staff and program volunteers are trained on the emergency plan and processes.  
  • Make sure you take extra steps to meet the unique needs of infants and toddlers. 
  • Sign up for emergency alerts to get important information from public safety officials. 
  • Identify your local emergency manager and make them aware of your child care program. 
  • Determine your schedule for checking the contents of your emergency supply kit to make sure everything is fully stocked and ready and matches the needs of the children who are currently enrolled in your program. 
  • Consider how your emergency preparations might be affected by COVID-19 
  • Learn how to turn off the utilities at your child care business, including water, electricity, and gas 
  • Establish an emergency fund. 
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your child care program. 
  • Learn about business continuity planning for child care 
  • Check the outdoor air quality in your area regularly and know when it is unsafe to take children outdoors.  
  • Be sure you’re prepared to support the social emotional needs of the children in your care.  
  • Encourage staff to practice self-care. Don’t forget to practice it yourself as well! 
  • Share information with parents about your emergency plan and why emergency preparedness is important. 

Next Steps 

Once you have reviewed the checklistdecide what steps you need to take to ensure your child care program is prepared in case of an emergencyContact your local CCR&R and regulatory agency for help with child care emergency preparedness planning 

The Child Care Aware® of America Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery team collects stories from child care providers who experience emergencies to share lessons learned. If you experience an emergency in your child care program, please share the story so others can benefit from your experience 

Participate in the FEMA Lunch and Learn Webinar Series, Resolve to be Ready: Ten Steps to Preparedness for more actionable steps you can take to be prepared.  

Child Care Aware® of America Resources 

Other Resources 

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Best Practices, Health & Safety

Jillian Ritter

Written by Jillian Ritter

Jillian Ritter serves as a Data Analyst for Child Care Aware® of America and a member of its Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery team. Her professional service includes more than 20 years in the early childhood care and education field in a variety of roles. She has a Master’s Degree in Youth Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development.