What is appropriate child supervision in child care? Frequently, your answer to that question depends upon who you are and where you are. Some have a potentially dangerous loose definition and some have an unrealistically stringent definition. In California, where I am, the requirement for supervision of young children is that it be both auditory and visual. Fair enough, except when I was told by a Licensing Analyst that I would be cited if a child was injured in the second that a caregiver’s eyes were closed during a sneeze. Um, I’m not quite sure what to do with that. But, at the same time, I’ve also had employees who seemed to believe that being in the general proximity of a child and chatting with a coworker constituted child supervision.
While there are varying definitions, the one thing that is consistent is that appropriate supervision is a key factor in keeping children safe. There are two critical components in supervising children. The first is ensuring that each classroom has at least two caregivers in ratio at all times. One person simply cannot provide supervision to a group of children. The second issue is training staff on appropriate supervision. What does it look and sound like? Where should your body and eyes be in various situations? If you don’t already have a training program in place to make sure your staff knows how to provide appropriate supervision, KidCentric is now making our staff training guideline available. It even includes diagrams of proper and improper supervision to make things extra clear. Check it out at: http://daycaretools.com/DaycareProducts.aspx#Personnel