News

Emergency Preparedness for Child Care Providers

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Attention Pennsylvania Child Care Providers:

 

The regulations for Child Care Centers, Group Child Care Homes and Family Child Care Homes relating to Emergency Plan states:

(a)  The facility shall have an emergency plan that provides for:

  (1)  Shelter of children during an emergency including shelter in place at the facility and shelter at locations away from the facility premises.

   (2)  Evacuation of children from the facility building and evacuation of children to a location away from the facility premises. The evacuation routes and evacuation plans to exit the building may be the same as those required by §  3270.94(f) and (g) (relating to fire drills).

   (3)  A method for facility persons to contact parents as soon as reasonably possible when an emergency situation arises.

   (4)  A method for facility persons to inform parents that the emergency has ended and to provide instruction as to how parents can safely be reunited with their children.

 (b)  The operator shall review the emergency plan at least annually and update the plan as needed. Each review and update of the emergency plan shall be documented in writing and kept on file at the facility.

 (c)  Each facility person shall receive training regarding the emergency plan at the time of initial employment, on an annual basis and at the time of each plan update. The date of each training and the name of each facility person who received the training shall be documented in writing and kept on file at the facility.

 (d)  The emergency plan shall be posted in the facility at a conspicuous location.

 (e)  The operator shall provide to the parent of each enrolled child a letter explaining the emergency procedures described in subsection (a). The operator shall also provide to the parent of each enrolled child a letter explaining any subsequent update to the plan.

 (f)  The operator shall send a copy of the emergency plan and subsequent plan updates to the county emergency management agency.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers free on-line independent study courses relating to disaster management.  One of the courses that is available is designed to help child care providers better prepare for emergency situations that may occur in their community.  This course is Multihazard Planning for Child Care.

This course covers the steps to help childcare providers prepare for incidents to ensure the safety of the children at their site.  This course is free and is available to child care providers who wish to take it.  The course can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink below:

http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is36.asp

Please note:  The Department does not require child care providers to take this course however, it may be used to meet the staff training required by the child care regulations and is acceptable for Keystone STARS facilities and 0.2 CEUs are awarded for successful completion of the training.    Questions relating to this course should be directed to the contact information on the FEMA website.