Childcare emergency forms

Emergency forms for childcare providers

Emergency forms are something childcare provides hope to never use. And yet, they’re some of the most important forms that your childcare center houses and maintains. There are many factors to consider as you evaluate your emergency forms ranging from the content you collect to the process for keeping them secure, but accessible.

We’re here to answer many of your questions related to emergency forms and record keeping. However, please note that this advice is a starting point and is not to be considered legal advice. You should counsel your legal advisers for the language of your waivers and emergency process.

What should go on your childcare emergency forms?

To get started, you’ll need to build an emergency contact form for your childcare center. The form should include the following pieces of information.

  • Child’s name
  • Birthdate
  • Home address
  • Alternate address
  • Primary guardian’s:
    • Name
    • Relationship to child
    • Address
    • Home phone number
    • Cell phone number
    • Work phone number
    • Email
    • Place of employment
  • Secondary guardian’s
    • Name
    • Relationship to child
    • Address
    • Home phone number
    • Cell phone number
    • Work phone number
    • Email
    • Place of employment
  • Authorization for other individuals to pick up the child in case of emergency
  • Contact information for authorized individuals to pick up the child
  • Child’s medical information, including:
    • Primary doctor
    • Doctor’s office phone number
    • Allergies
    • Medical conditions
    • Medications
    • Health Insurance plan name
    • Insurance group number
    • Policyholder name for health insurance
  • Consent for childcare to administer first aid with signature line
  • Consent for childcare to transport the child to the hospital in case of an emergency with a preferred hospital listed and a signature line
  • Date and signature for parental approval
  • Space to update the form with the date reviewed

How to keep your childcare’s emergency forms up to date

You need to implement a review process for each parent to update their emergency contact forms. If you use a mobile app, you could house this emergency information within your mobile app. That way, you can send notifications regularly to remind them to review and update the information.

If you keep this information on paper, choose dates throughout the year to review the information with parents. Avoid weeks of the year where parents are less likely to be in attendance, such as the holidays, spring break or the summer months.

During that week, pull all your emergency contact forms and catch parents at the door during drop off and pickup to have them review the information and sign and date it that they have no changes. In cases where the parent does have changes, log those changes and still have the parent sign and date the form to ensure strong record keeping.

How should you store your emergency forms?

The easiest way to store emergency contact information is digital. That way, you can search for the information and pull it up quickly to get in touch with parents. If you do keep the files digitally, you should have a good backup process to make sure that during an outage or hack of your systems you can access that information elsewhere.

If you keep that information on paper, you must secure these forms. You should have a cabinet or drawers with lock and key on them. Ideally, these should be stored within a room that has limited access and access logs via a keycard to get into the room.

Who has access to your emergency forms?

Staff that works directly with children should have access to the emergency contact forms. Or, you must have an administrator or office staff person in the office at all times to pull the information in case of an emergency.

Access to emergency contact forms is simple within a mobile app or childcare software. You can provide information to each teacher for children who are enrolled in their classrooms. However, you can prohibit other teachers from accessing and reviewing information from other classrooms if you would like. There is a catch though if you choose to manage your information in this way. If one teacher is filling in for another, they won’t have the information at their fingertips as easily during substitute days.

What’s the process for contacting emergency contacts during an incident?

In case of an emergency, calling an emergency contact is not your first course of action. Instead, follow these important steps to ensure that children receive the care they need.

  1. Administer first aid to the child in need.
  2. Call 911 and get coaching and information on the child’s immediate needs from the dispatcher.
  3. Secure the area and have another teacher or administrator move all other children to other classrooms or out of the way in a safe place. Other children do not need to see the emergency situation as it could be upsetting to them.
  4. Once the situation is in hand, contact the child’s emergency contact and inform them of the situation.

 

This order of events ensures that the child gets medical attention as soon as possible to give them the best chance of recovery. While getting in touch with their parents is important, it does not take precedence over caring for the child.

How to engage mass communication during emergencies

At times, you might need to get in touch with all parents at once. Examples of this might include a pipe bursting in your facility, the air conditioning or heating going out, an intruder situation, or other threats to the child’s wellbeing.

There are also some milder situations, such as a snow emergency, that might leave you needing to get in touch with all parents with children that attend your facility. Ideally, you should have an emergency alert system that calls, texts and emails parents in case of an emergency like this.

In addition to emergency forms, consider your emergency action plan. Review it with your teachers and make sure everyone is ready to act in case of an emergency. Go over that plan with your teachers and administrators regularly to ensure effective action is taken in case of an emergency.

Subscribe to our Newsletter