This is the second part of our three-part series on the top three daycare violations that can lead to a revocation in the state of North Carolina. Whether you operate a childcare facility or a childcare home licensed by the Division of Child Development and Early Education, this violation is most likely nine times out of 10 to lead to a revocation. While not fully automatic, it’s pretty close based on the cases we’ve had in the past, and that is a lack of supervision.
This could be where you’re not able to see a child or hear a child; that is technically a lack of supervision. Certain situations, very minor, where you happen to look away for a second or something like that, and somebody sees that, it’s technically a lack of supervision; those are the ones that are going to be in the one out of 10 categories, most likely.
Other situations, like, “Hey, I’m going to go out to the car and grab something real quick. Those kids will be fine in two or three minutes.” No, don’t do that because that is absolutely 100% lack of supervision. We’ve seen the Division of Child Development and Early Education get extremely upset with situations like that, and they can lead to the aforementioned revocation. Those are probably not 100%. They likely depend on whomever is your consultant, whoever is their supervisor, and that all depends on the region you live in North Carolina. But it’s not a good idea.
I mean, you’re being paid to watch people’s children. Don’t go out to the car and grab something; don’t go get a quick smoke real quick and leave the children unattended. That’s just a terrible idea, so just don’t do it as a matter of principle. But if you do it, you’re likely to get a revocation notice from the Division of Child Development and Early Education.
Now, another issue that we’ve seen, and this happens more frequently than I think people would like to admit, is where a child has pulled a Houdini and escaped from the facility or childcare home. This usually results from being outside and not having a gate latched. Or you do a count on the kids, and then you double-count a kid or miscount, and you think you have everybody coming inside, and next thing you know, little Johnny’s not to be found because little Johnny’s outside.
So what ends up happening in many of these situations is that a gate’s not properly latched, locked, or secured. The bottom line is the place is not secure enough, and the child is able to escape. So one of the main things on that I’ve seen, and this is correctable under a CAP (Corrective Action Plan), but we don’t want to get that far, right? We don’t want to have to worry about a CAP. We don’t have to worry about a violation or anything along those lines. So you definitely have to make sure that especially outside areas are all secure, that there are proper locks. Many times people will use spring-loaded locks where if it’s open, then it’ll automatically come back, and it’ll latch itself and lock itself.
You have to be careful with those because you don’t want to make sure it comes back too fast and potentially injures a kid, but you also want to make sure that it’s not going to just kind of hit and not latch, and then a kid can just push it open. So you have to look into proper mechanisms for that proper latching mechanism, locking mechanisms, make sure the facility’s secure, especially outside. Obviously inside, you want to make sure that the kid can’t get out the front door, back door, side door or wherever. You have to make sure that that’s secure at all times as well.
Supervision is very key in this regard. Even if you have the whole facility on lockdown like Fort Knox, and the kids can’t get out, you still have to maintain line of sight on all the children, and you have to be able to hear all the children at all times, or at least have the proper staff-to-child ratio where your staff member’s going to be able to see kids in their classroom and hear kids in their classroom at all times as well. So supervision is a big deal. It’s not to be taken lightly, obviously, and if you have proper policies and procedures in place for this proper equipment that includes locks, latching mechanisms, and things of that nature, then you’re likely not to have revocation administrative action come your way. Pay meticulous attention to these aspects for a safer environment for the children under your care.