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Planning for Emergencies

Emergency plan or Disaster Preparedness on the desk.

Minnesota has our fair share of emergencies, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, floods, house fires, and gas leaks, which require child care homes and centers to be prepared so children are safe. Here are five ways that child care providers can plan for emergencies:

  1. Have a plan. State law requires every licensed child care home and center to have an up-to-date plan. This plan should be practiced and shared with staff and families.
  2. Communicate. Providers should know how to notify parents through multiple methods, especially when children and staff need to relocate rapidly.
  3. Contact local emergency officials to ensure child care homes and centers are part of any municipal or county emergency planning.
  4. Help children. Children should learn how to be calm and safe by practicing safety drills. Many positive, supportive books are also available that can help them prepare for and cope with emergencies.
  5. Prepare financially. All child care programs should ensure their insurance policies provide adequate coverage, and that they have taken other steps to ensure that their business can continue to function after an emergency or disaster.

A new training course, Emergency Preparedness for Child Care Programs, is now available in many locations (search on Develop to find it). It discusses the importance of emergency preparedness in child care and how to respond to different types of emergencies, identify ways to support children’s needs, and create or update a written emergency plan.

If the unthinkable happens, Child Care Aware is here to help. We can help connect programs to resources and help providers apply for emergency funds to get them back in operation as soon as possible. After disaster strikes a community, families need child care more than ever. Emergency preparedness assures that this care will be there.