Preparedness for Childcare Providers and Schools

Disaster planning, response and recovery efforts must consider the unique needs of children and youth, their families, and those who care for them!

What Parents Need to Know About Providers and Schools

As a parent, feeling confident in the safety of your child or children at your childcare provider or school is extremely important.

Ask your child’s teacher about the plans the childcare provider and school has in place for emergencies such as severe winter, spring and summer weather, fires, and intruders! Find out what hazards they plan for.

Here are some questions to guide you:

For more information, contact your local emergency management office.

What Parents Can Do

  • Review with your child or children your family emergency plan, including reunification and communication options.
  • Does your child need additional accommodations? Provide the childcare provider and school with information about any unique needs they have.
    • Fill out an emergency information form.
    • Arrange for the school to have on hand back up items to address those unique needs if they need to remain in the building for a longer period of time.
    • Ensure that your child or children are included in the drills, as medically allowed, so they know what to expect.
  • Talk to children about drills.
    • Young children need brief simple information and examples that should be balanced with reassurance.
    • Upper elementary and early middle school children may ask more questions about safety. Share with them their school and family emergency plans. Provide accurate information and reassurance.
    • Upper middle school and high school students may have strong opinions. Share with them their school and family emergency plans. Stress the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following the school’s safety guidelines.
  • After a crisis provide emotional support to your child or children. Disasters can be traumatic. Be aware of signs that children might be in distress, i.e., changes in behavior, anxiety, sleep problems, acting out, and problems at school. Some children may not express their concerns verbally.
    • Limit exposure to TV or radio coverage of the disaster.
    • Provide factual information about the disaster.
    • Allow them time to talk or work through their emotions.

For more information: