What To Do Whan An Unsafe Activity is Happening Near Your Child Care Facility
A lock-out is a precaution child care providers can take when an event, such as a gathering of people, a law enforcement action or an environmental hazard, poses a potential risk outside the walls of your child care program.
In some circumstances, a child care provider who is monitoring conditions in their immediate vicinity may need to make a decision about implementing a shelter-in-place or lock-out before getting official word from law enforcement.
Here are some steps to take when you perceive that an unsafe situation is developing in your area:
- Stay calm. Avoid causing anxiety for children in your care.
- Have all children and staff come inside.
- Lock all exterior doors and windows.
- Call 911 to report the unsafe activity you are observing outside your home or child care facility.
- Close curtains and blinds. Keep children away from doors and windows.
- Continue normal activities indoors while paying close attention to the emotional needs of the children.
- Keep your cell phone within reach at all times.
- If you have a smart phone you may have the option to turn on emergency notifications. If you don’t see this option there are emergency notification apps you can install.
- Contact parents to inform them about the situation. Confer with officials if it is safe or advisable for parents to come into the area to pick up their children.
Typically a lock-in or sheltering-in-place response lasts for a few hours, not days, so access to food and supplies is not a concern. Follow the instructions of officials on the scene during and after the event to determine if you need to do anything else to keep children and staff safe.
Learn more about preparing and responding to emergencies and disasters.