Resolve to Be Ready in 2022

January 14, 2022

 

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The new year is a great time to review your child care program’s emergency preparedness plans. Each year, Ready.gov encourages families to Resolve to Be Ready and we would like to help child care programs be ready in 2022 as well.   

Child Care Emergency Preparedness 

Child care emergency preparedness is important because we know that emergencies happen every day. As a child care provider, you must be prepared and ready for anything that might come your way, including weather threats and severe storms, as well as other events, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With 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, and children begin to understand what is expected, should a disaster take place.  

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. 

  • 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 and the needs of staff who work in your program 
  • 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.  Children will pick up on the emotions of staff during disasters, which is why it is important to practice drills, so everyone feels prepared in advance of an emergency. 
  • 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. 
  • Take your work with families a step further by partnering with them in your child care emergency preparedness.  

Next Steps 

Once you have reviewed the checklist, decide what steps you need to take to ensure your child care program is prepared in case of an emergency. Contact 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.  

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.