What does a safe and healthy workplace look like at your childcare company? A place where children are protected from hazards and diseases and caregivers are properly trained to recognize and respond to situations that pose potential harm to a child’s health, safety, and well-being is a non-negotiable prerequisite to a quality childcare program. In this article, we provide a basic overview of the workplace safety training requirements you need at your Early Childhood Education program.
Federal and State-Mandated Workplace Safety Training for Childcare Workers
In order to operate a licensed daycare, states mandate a series of workplace training requirements for all adult caregivers of children in a childcare setting. In addition, federal law requires health and safety training for all childcare programs receiving federal financial assistance. According to ChildCare.gov, your childcare team should be trained in the following essential health and safety topics:
- Pediatric first aid and CPR
- Prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunizations)
- Safe sleep practices and prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child mistreatment
- Recognition and prevention of child abuse and neglect
- Use of medication
- Prevention of and response to emergencies caused by food allergies
- Emergency preparedness and response for natural disasters and other events
- Handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials
- Indoor and outdoor safety (including protecting children from hazards, bodies of water, and traffic)
- Safety when transporting children (if applicable)
- Child development, physical activity, and nutrition
In addition, other topics of importance, such as caring for children with special needs, may be a necessary area of training for your own childcare team.
If you’ve already obtained your state license and are up and running, then you already have a good idea of the state requirements needed to maintain a licensed daycare center in your area. However, as regulations change and are updated over time, it’s important to check with your state for the latest requirements. The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations is a helpful tool for finding licensing information by state.
Benefits of Workplace Safety Training
The benefits of workplace safety training to your childcare program are obvious, but they are worth stating:
Workplace safety training allows you to provide the best quality care possible for children. Making sure your staff is trained in the essential components of childcare health and safety ensures that you have created the safest possible environment for the children in your care. It is your moral and legal responsibility to employ staff with all the necessary training for providing care to little ones.
Workplace safety training equips your childcare team to respond appropriately to a variety of on-the-job situations in order to protect children and prevent harm. Knowing that your childcare team is on the same page, holds the same training qualifications, and knows the protocols related to a variety of child safety-related situations will give you, your staff, and the families you serve peace of mind that situations will be handled correctly if and when they arise. Workplace safety training unifies your team, instills confidence, and empowers team members with life-saving knowledge that every child caregiver should possess.
Workplace safety training protects you, the business owner, from certain legal liabilities. Providing workplace safety training, and hiring staff members who are properly trained in the necessary areas of childcare health and safety, protects you as the business owner from unintended legal consequences. Consider workplace safety training as an insurance policy…for the children and their families, your team members, and yes, for you too.
How to Ensure Your Staff Is Trained in Childcare Workplace Safety
There are two avenues to consider when making sure your childcare team is properly trained in childcare workplace safety. The first of these is the hiring process. Employee candidates should hold the proper training certifications and demonstrate the necessary experience as a prerequisite for the job. Pediatric first aid and CPR training, for example, is a must. You can use the other safety topics as a checklist to see where the candidate is well-versed and where they may fall short. The second avenue is ongoing training for your current team members. As time goes on, skills become rusty or the latest safety information changes, and the need for ongoing training and re-certification arises. Offering workplace safety training opportunities will help your childcare team keep their skills up-to-date.
Our HR and Compliance partner, Mineral HR, offers workplace safety training covering a range of important health and safety topics for the workplace. They offer a practical way to protect the families you serve, your employees, and your business. Online workplace safety training can be a great option for your childcare team.
The experts at Honest Buck Accounting understand it’s difficult to keep track of all the moving parts of your childcare business, including workplace safety training, HR compliance, and more. That’s why we work with childcare companies like yours to streamline and optimize the financial side of your business, increasing profitability, and freeing you up to grow. Schedule a call with us to speak with one of our accountants.