Supervising Children in Child Care Programs

Most parents quickly realize that some of the most concerning times with your children are when they are quiet.  That often means they are up to something that they don’t want you to know about.  This is part of the reason that proper child supervision must be not just auditory, but visual as well. 

In order to keep children safe, we have to know what they are doing at any given time.  This is simply not possible if you cannot see them.  So, how do we make sure that children are properly supervised in our programs?  The first thing to do is to make sure the program is properly staffed at all times, including at least two people in a classroom at any given time.  We cannot give our staff members a requirement to meet, then not provide enough staff to implement it.  One person cannot be expected to keep 15 toddlers safe.  If you have a classroom of 16 toddlers and one needs a diaper change, and you can’t afford to have an extra staff member available to help out with diaper time, the person changing the diaper must also be tasked with scanning the classroom throughout the change.  This is the time for multi-tasking; speak with and attend to the toddler whose diaper you are changing while assisting in the supervision of the other children.  While that staff member may not be able to physically get to an area of the classroom that needs attention, they can alert the other staff member of any potential problems that they observe. 

The other thing we need to do for our staff members to ensure proper child supervision is to specifically train them on how to provide appropriate supervision.  Again, we are making a commitment to our staff’s ability to be successful.  We have to give them the proper tools.  We can’t put someone in a classroom and tell them we expect them to supervise each child at all times, then not show them how to do that.  Meeting the needs of each individual child while ensuring that the entire group is being properly supervised can be quite tricky.  As much as it seems like second nature to many of us by now, it’s not intuitive to everyone.  Each staff member must be trained on child supervision during their New Employee Orientation, observed periodically to ensure that they are employing the techniques they were taught, and receive regular follow-up training.  If you don’t already have a training for your staff for child supervision, check ours out here.

Misty