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How to Childproof Your Home Daycare Business
A home child care provider must be sure that the environment where she cares for children is completely childproofed and safe for all ages of children. The first thing a parent seeking daycare will look for is a safe and clean environment for their child.
Everyone's home is different. You need to get down to the children's level and take a good look around. Look for anything they can climb onto, stick their fingers into, pull down or trip over. I will give you an idea of what you should be looking for when childproofing your home.
Your home daycare space:
You will have space in your home where the daycare children will play and you will have space that is out of bounds. The unused area of your home should be completely blocked off to prevent kids from getting in, especially if there are stairs. You can lock doors or put up baby gates to make your space safer and more kid-friendly.
The play area should be inspected daily for any signs of danger. Take a few minutes before the little ones arrive to be sure there are no plugs uncovered, tiny choking hazards left around, or cleaning products within reach.
Children get into everything. They are curious. So, if you have cupboard or drawers you don't want the kids getting into, get some childproof locks. Any poisonous cleaners, medicine, pesticides or any thing harmful that they could ingest should be locked up far away from your daycare space. Don't rely on locks for poisonous substances. Also be aware of what plants may be harmful, inside and outside of your home.
Electrical outlets should have plugs in them. Electrical cords should be secured near baseboards or underneath rugs.
Toys are fun, but they can be dangerous too. Remember that some small children put everything in their mouths. Carefully watch for toys a child may swallow. Do the toilet paper roll test to be sure: If the toy can slip through the roll, your children can choke on it. Closely inspect toys for any sign of damage and discard if broken.
Fire Safety and Emergency Drills
You will need a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector for every room that the children will be using. Check the batteries every month to be sure they are fresh. Have a fire extinguisher handy and be sure you know how to use it. Monthly fire drills are a good idea for this age group, and may be mandatory if you want to get your daycare licensed. And have an escape plan in case of fire. Practice with the kids so they know what to do in case of an emergency.
You MUST have your yard fenced in if you are using it for your home daycare. Any outdoor play equipment should be on the proper surface in case a child falls. Rubber mulch, pea gravel and wood chips are a softer place to land than grass or pavement.
Make sure your yard is neat and tidy so there are no tripping hazards. Check for sharp rocks & sticks that are easily tripped over. And make sure your outdoor equipment and riding toys are in good condition.
And if you have pets, be sure your yard is clean.