Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Child Care Dress Code

Perhaps you have been having a periodic or persistent problem with employees coming to work in clothing and attire that you feel are not appropriate for your program.  We’ve all had that employee who thinks that a strapless dress is a good idea, even when they are working with children who tug and pull on clothing all day.  We’ve all had that employee who wears footwear that is dangerous or uncomfortable, so they are continuously limping around or taking their shoes off and on instead of caring for children.  We’ve all probably had the employee who wears flip flops to work in the middle of winter and then doesn’t want to go outside with the children.  Ok, maybe those of you in the south don’t have that problem, but up north – it can be a big issue.

Talking to employees about dress code is sometimes not easy and can make everyone uncomfortable.  For example, I had to tell an employee once that a parent had called me because her very young son (just starting to talk) was indicating “breasts” with sign language and the word “ta ta’s” when referring to his teacher.  She wore sun dresses most of the time – many of which were strapless and all of them showed more of her cleavage than even she realized.  Needless to say, it was an embarrassing conversation for myself and the teacher.

Appropriate dress --shirts, pants, shoes and adornments—often need to be explained to employees.  Skirts so short that the teacher cannot bend over or sit down.  Pants that show cracks when seated on the floor.  Shirts that allow children intimate views of what is underneath…. None of us want to get a call from a parent with a concern about how our staff dresses.  It doesn’t demonstrate professionalism. 

Some facilities require uniforms –such as “scrubs”, or partial uniforms – such as aprons, or a logo shirt, or something along those lines.  There are many different ways to create a respectful and safe dress code; one that respects the human body and keeps children safe from hazards from choking.  If you are interested in taking a look at our Dress Code Policy for facilities that do not have uniforms, check out the new addition to the website.

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