As a general rule, childcare centres are some of the safest and securest places for children to be. However, this isn’t to say that all centres’ standards are equal when it comes to protecting the welfare of children and staff.
Many childcare centres promote a safe and secure environment, but how they stack up against their competition can highlight a notable difference in quality, and this is often what turns a good childcare centre into a great one.
Security can be considered a HUGE selling point for a childcare centre, therefore providers who go out of their way to ensure that security is a top priority can set themselves apart from their competitors, giving them a unique advantage in the market.
Are All Childcare Centres Safe?
Many childcare centres promote themselves as safe and secure, but this begs the question: “How many are telling the truth?” A Productivity Commission report released earlier this year revealed that 15 percent of Queensland’s childcare services failed to meet national children’s health and safety standards, and 16 percent of centres were also found to have physical environments not up to scratch. In this lays huge problem; so many people assume that because the National Quality Framework mandates a certain level of safety and security from childcare centres, that all centres meet these expectations, however, as this report makes clear, this isn’t always the case.
Safety and Security – A Major Selling Point
Purchasers are more interested in centres that meet or exceed safety and security requirements than those that need work to bring them up to scratch. If your centre does not meet these requirements, buyers may not want to expend the extra effort required to bring the centre up to a competitive standard. It can be tempting to think that because you’re selling that it’s unnecessary to put in any extra effort to enhance the safety and security of your centre, however before you go leaving it up to the new owner, remember that having strong safety and security measures already in place would be a major selling point, as this means less work for the eventual purchaser.
Identify Security Risks
Keeping childcare centres safe and secure is fundamental to the welfare of children and staff, as well as to the centre’s facilities. In order to achieve this, childcare centre administrators need to identify all of the potential security risks faced by their centre, and must formulate a plan to control and manage these risks. A child-safe organisation should have policies and procedures in place to manage a variety of safety and security threats, things to consider should include:
- Access control systems to ensure the centre can only be entered by authorised staff, families and their children.
- Physical security surrounding the centre’s premises to ensure that children can play safely outdoors.
- Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and a visible fire evacuation plan in case of a fire emergency.
- Full training and practice drills for staff in case of emergencies such as fire and lockdown situations.
- CCTV and alarm systems to monitor the premises day and night.
While education and development are both extremely important for a good childcare centre, nothing matters more than the safety, security and health of the children and staff. This is why being prepared with protective measures in place are critical considerations for any childcare business and why having top notch systems in place can be such an advantage when it comes to selling your childcare business.
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