Daycare Emergencies

Make plans before you need them

Although you hope you will never have any daycare emergencies, you’ll have to be prepared just in case.

emergency room entranc

You must have a working phone in your home. When I say working phone, I mean a land-line phone. You don't want to find out during an emergency that your cell phone needs to be charged.

Emergency numbers must be posted by the phone. The numbers posted should include your local police department, fire department, emergency transportation, and the poison control center.

Emergency information for each child must be in an easy to reach place.

Make sure every parent has filled out an emergency/health information form for their child.

You can also have an emergency medical release from the parents. Each state will have their own regulations on how the forms must be worded to be valid. They should be notarized.

Make sure your CPR and First Aid certification are up to date.

In any emergency situation, you must consider the health of the child first. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call for help. Seconds truly do matter in an emergency.

If a child is injured in your care, the parents need to be notified as soon as possible. In the event of a serious injury, paramedics are called first and the parents second. Regardless of the severity of an injury, have parents sign the injury report form as soon as possible. Use the form for EVERY injury. The form protects YOU in the event that a parent does not seek appropriate medical attention for their child.

All daycare emergencies do not involve children in care. Perhaps you suddenly develop a migraine and can't think straight, let alone care for children, or you turn the wrong way and your back goes out.

Have a Back-Up for Daycare Emergencies

Have a substitute provider who can provide care during an emergency. In twelve years of daycare I had a few daycare emergencies. One involved my son who tripped on the stairs in elementary school and needed stitches for a gash under his eye. A friend of mine was listed on his emergency card at school, and she was able to get him from school to the clinic and was able to stay with him until I got there. Another friend took over my daycare so I could go to the clinic to be with him.

Another time, a different son, broke his wrist at school during a high school wrestling practice. It was later in the day, so I only had two children (one family) left in daycare. A neighbor covered my daycare so I could go directly to the emergency room.

Yet another time, one of my daycare kids (a new kindergartner!) got on the wrong bus after school. I had to go to the school to pick him up when the bus he was on finished its route. The same neighbor covered for me so I was able to get to him. Never assume there will not be an emergency. Always be prepared just in case.

Your substitute provider will most likely need to be listed on your daycare forms, and have the same background checks as you. The children in your care should know the substitute. Your sister may be wonderful with children, but your daycare children should meet her prior to an emergency.

Make sure any designated person visits your daycare on a regular basis so the children are comfortable in their presence. You will also need to make sure that they know where all the children’s emergency information can be found, where the first aid kit is located, and your plans for storm and fire safety.

The best course of action for daycare emergencies is to be prepared. You’ll have far less worries if you have a plan of action already in place. Choose your back-up provider carefully and have a second choice available. Even the best back-up provider cannot be available around the clock for you. Daycare emergencies can and do happen.


As a child care provider, your top priority is the safety of the children. PLEASE... take the time to look over the entire safety section.


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