5 Security Measures To Look Out for in Top-Rated Daycares Across Chicago Suburbs

Are you on the hunt for the safest daycare in Chicago or think you’ve found “the one”? A childcare center that ticks all the security boxes is the dream. As a parent, selecting a daycare center for your child feels like one of the biggest decisions you’ll make — and we’re here to help.

Naturally, you want the people you’re leaving your child with to be responsible. The environment also matters. The World Health Organization notes that clean, safe, and secure environments create enabling spaces for nurturing care

With that in mind, safety is a major consideration. In this article, we’ll discuss five security measures to look out for in top-rated daycares in Chicago suburbs. 

Employee Background Checks

When searching for a daycare, check for educational requirements that suggest academic and professional success. The daycare should have qualified staff. Additionally, find out if daycares near you perform pre-employment background checks before hiring staff. The purpose of background checks is to verify that teachers and administrative personnel have completed training and don’t have a criminal record of violence or child abuse.

Controlled Access Point

Pre-employment background checks alone don’t make a daycare secure for your child. You must ensure your preferred early childhood education center has several security features in place. One of the most crucial ones is controlled access. The last thing you want to do is enroll your child in a center where passersby can enter anytime. 

A top-rated, secure daycare typically has its entrance and exit points locked with security gates and electronic doors. There will likely also be surveillance cameras.

Another important consideration is if the school keeps accurate records of who gets in and out. Keeping track of people who enter and exit the facility can come in handy helping to prevent safety issues or clear up confusion between family members after school pick-up.

Emergency Preparedness

However, they can implement strategies to prevent the effects of accidents, natural disasters, and illnesses. 

For example, they could stock up on first-aid supplies and ensure teachers have first-aid and CPR knowledge. Illinois child care professionals must have active certifications in infant/pediatric, child, adult, CPR, and first aid. 

Also, find out if there’s an evacuation plan for when emergencies occur and if the children and teachers practice emergency drills regularly.

Not sure what to ask? Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Are fire and smoke detectors tested and batteries changed regularly?
  • Does the facility have up-to-date fire safety equipment on hand?
  • How about an emergency alert system?

A secure childcare center might take a step further to have an emergency notification system made of audible alarms, text or email notifications, or mobile app notifications. Some daycares even have mobile apps where teachers send daily updates or pictures throughout the day. This addition can provide peace of mind for families. 

Safe Classroom Practices 

It doesn’t hurt to inspect classes and get first-hand experience of safe practices teachers implement during lessons. Observe the child-teacher ratio to ensure children are always under supervision. 

Individualized attention, according to Ladybug and Friends Daycare and Preschool, lays a foundation for young learners to explore and learn. Remember, part of a teacher’s responsibility is to give learners guidance and reassurance to make them feel secure as they learn. Do they do that in the daycare of your choice? 

Secure Outdoor Play Areas

How safe are the outdoor play areas:

  • Is the playground fenced, preventing the kids from wandering outside the school compound? 
  • Are there security cameras around play areas that help caregivers monitor children as they play? 

Besides fencing and installing security cameras, staff is recommended to supervise children at play. Adequate staff-to-student ratio and evenly-placed caregivers throughout the playground helps promote the safety of growing students. Equally important, check if caregivers instruct children how to use play equipment safely and enforce safety rules (like going feet-first down a slide to avoid injuries). 

Other features of a secure playground can include:

  • Shock-absorbing surfaces like deep mulch, rubber mats, and sand to prevent injuries when children fall.
  • Ample space to prevent collisions when children are running or cycling.
  • Safe distances between structures (like a jungle gym and nearby trees or buildings)
  • Hazard-free play areas (clean without sharp items, chemicals, debris, or trash)) 

Top-Rated Chicago Suburbs Daycare Security: Final Thoughts

Enrolling a child in daycare, especially deciding between the many top-rated daycares in Chicago suburbs, is one of the many decisions you’ll be making as your little one grows up. You want assurance that your child is safe from drop off to pick up. 

Daycare managers understand the security concerns parents have and implement measures to enhance the safety and health of children. Some of these security measures include controlled access points, emergency preparedness, employee background checks, surveillance cameras, and safe classroom practices. Feel confident speaking up when taking an in-person or virtual tour of a Chicago daycare — a world-class daycare is there to help.Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.

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