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Choosing Preschool

Is my Child Safe in the Preschool

When it comes to child care or preschool, there are many questions coming to our mind; but the first and foremost question that can make or break your decision of selecting a preschool is- how safe is my child in the child care center or nursery or preschool.

 Until now, you had child proofed your house, ensured there is nothing left undone which can prove to be a hazard to your child. Now that your child is taking his first step outside the home, it’s important to peek into school premises to make it a home away from home.

Children at this age are full of energy, have the curiosity to explore things. So it becomes vital to see the preschool they go to is safe from indoors as well as outdoors. There are some recent additions to the safety check list due to changes in our society’s scenario and breaking news about little children. Check our safety cheat sheet; ask all the safety features available in the childcare or preschool of your choice before selecting it

Following are some of the checks and tips to ensure that the preschool is safe for your child:

Arrival & Departure Safety

  • When arriving at the school there should be preschool staff present to assist the child in the classroom.
  • When you drop the child you must sign in and when you pick-up your child you must sign out.
  • Under no circumstances, your child is released from school without proper authorization release process for the child and prior notice.
  • A sign in/sign out track system for all the visitors, parents/guardians, vendors and everybody else who enters school premises.
  • Security systems-CCTV cameras installed at the entrance and other areas of the school premises must function or maintained properly.

ASk a Question on Preschool


  • Phone numbers to report child abuse are clipped at some place which is accessible to all the staff.
  • Other emergency numbers for fire, doctor and police should also be posted in a place easily accessible in case of any emergency.
  • The fire extinguisher must be installed and fire drill must be conducted at a regular interval with fire evacuation plan to a safe place in the open ground.
  • First-aid supplies must be available in the school for ready to use by the staff at all the times.

Indoor Safety

  • Adult Supervision: Every area of the preschool should be supervised by an adult be it in the kitchen, classroom, bathroom etc. 
  • Enough Staff: The preschool must have enough staff to supervise all the children within the premises.
  • Play Material: Ensure that the toys used are washed and sanitized at the end of the day. Also, there are no toys with sharp ends or broken pieces. The toys are kept either in the clean toy bins or on open shelves after use.
  • Furniture: Desks, chairs, and work tables do not have sharp ends and are not wobbly.
  • Clean Traffic Areas: Ensure that there is no clutter left in high traffic areas or near the stairs from where a child is under the risk of slipping or tripping and getting hurt.
  • Floor: The floor is clean and not wet or slippery
  • Sharp Objects: Sharp Objects like scissors or knives are not reachable to children
  • Electrical outlets: Electrical switches are covered and beyond a child’s reach and there are no hanging, unattended cords or wires.
  • Small Items: There are no small items which can result in choking hazards
  • Chemicals: Check if all cleaners, first aid solutions, insecticides, and any other medications are kept in a locked cabinet which is out of reach of children.
  • Open containers: There are no open containers of water or any other liquid.
  • Windows: Ensure the classroom windows have safety grills and are high enough for a preschooler to climb. Check there are no pots or chairs nearby which can aid in climbing.
  • First Aid: Ask the preschool about their first aid policy and if they have first aid box and basic medication with them.
  • Safety Cameras: Check if the school has installed safety cameras in every unattended spot and if they are monitored regularly.

Outdoor Safety

  • Playground: Play ground should be soft to cushion falls and reduce injuries. Also, check there are no dangerous materials like broken pieces of glass or metal or rocks which could cause children to trip and fall. The playground should also be free of any standing water which can be the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Playground equipment: The height of swings, slides, climbers etc must be at a safe distance from the ground. Also, there are no broken ends or some loose screws, nuts, bolts from any of the equipment which could harm children. The steps of slides are wide with less distance between the two steps and the openings of these types of equipment should be enough to ensure that no body part is trapped.
  • The distance between the play equipment: There is enough distance between the two play equipment.
  •  Safety Fence: The play area is safely fenced and if there are any gates that lead to outside, they are locked properly.
  • Supervision: At least two staff members are always present with the children supervising them during the outdoor play.
  •  Guarded rails: Any elevated platform should have guarded rails which children can hold for safety.
  • Wheels: Children should wear helmets, elbow-knee pads while playing with roller skates, bicycles, scooters etc. An adult is always around to guide the children as playing with wheels can be a bit tricky.
  • Swimming pools: Ensure swimming pool is not left unattended and there is a certified trainer all the time with the children. The depth of the pool is also age appropriate and the trainer is aware of the techniques like CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
  • Transportation: Ensure there is an attendant to take care of the kids in the school vehicle and while children get on and off the vehicle.
  • Bearer Cards: Ask the school about the bearer cards which are given to parents in case they want to send someone else to pick their child. No child should be handed over to any stranger without the bearer card and a note from the parent.
  • Entry and Exit points of the premises: Ask the school about the visitor entry and exit gates and if there are specific areas which are reachable to visitors. Also, check if the rules are followed properly by allowing only exit and not an entry at the exit gates.
  • Visitor: Learn about the procedure of visitor check in. What should be done if a staff member is uncomfortable about a visitor’s presence in some area of the school? The School should have clear manual and guidelines on the visitor's policy.

Other Safety Measures

  • Background verification of Staff: Ask whether a check/ police verification is done on the staff members and how often they are redone.
  • Safety education: Ensure there are age-appropriate lessons planned for kids related to safety and strangers, self-awareness, touch, privacy.

Parents Tips

Peek into all these by asking the school and checking them by visiting your most preferred school. If you do not get satisfactory answers then you need to change the must-have school to second best school.