Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.2 Policies

9.2.4 Emergency/Security Policies and Plans Documentation of Drop-Off, Pick-Up, Daily Attendance of Child, and Parent/Provider Communication

Child care programs should have policies that include:

  1. A daily attendance record should be maintained, listing the times of arrival and departure of the child, as well as the person dropping off and picking up;
  2. Parents/guardians are expected to communicate (confirmation required) with the caregiver/teacher/program on a daily basis by a specified time if their child will not be in attendance;
  3. The caregiver/teacher/program must communicate as early as possible (within one hour) with the parent/guardian if there is no communication from the parent/guardian about a child’s absence. If the caregiver/teacher/program is unable to reach the child’s parent/guardian, emergency contacts will be notified;
  4. A timely method of communication (phone, email, text, etc.) between the parent/guardian and the caregiver/teacher/program should be agreed upon at the time of enrollment;
  5. A printed roster should be available in the event of an evacuation drill or evacuation to account for the children in care.
Operational control to accommodate the health and safety of individual children requires basic information regarding each child in care. This standard ensures that the facility knows which children are receiving care at any given time including evacuation. It aids in the surveillance of child:staff ratios, knowledge of potentially infectious diseases (i.e., influenza), planning for staffing, and provides data for program planning. Accurate record keeping also aids in tracking the amount (and date) of service for reimbursement and allows for documentation in the event of child abuse allegations or legal action involving the facility. Furthermore, each year, twenty to forty children die from hyperthermia after being left/locked in a car or van. Some of these unfortunate deaths include children whose parents/guardians meant to drop their child off at a child care program or preschool; thus, timely communication with these parents/guardians could prevent death from hyperthermia (1,2).
Time clocks and cards can serve as verification, but they should be signed by the adult who drops off and picks up the child each day. Some notification system should be used to alert the caregiver/teacher whenever the responsibility for the care of the child is being transferred to or from the caregiver/teacher to another person.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
Appendix F: Enrollment/Attendance/Symptom Record
  1. Guard, A., S. S. Gallagher. 2005. Heat related deaths to young children in parked cars: An analysis of 171 fatalities in the United States, 1995-2002. Injury Prevention 11:33-37.
  2. Null, J. 2010. Hyperthermia deaths of children in vehicles. San Francisco State University.