Health and safety are critical considerations for anyone who runs a preschool. In addition to making parents comfortable and encouraging new families to enroll their children in your school, health and safety are essential to your preschoolers’ cognitive development and learning.
This blog will discuss the importance of health and safety in your preschool and how doing so supports your preschoolers and their families.
Let’s dive in.
Health, Safety, and the Learning Environment
According to The International Journal of Education and Practice, classroom design significantly impacts the learning process of your preschoolers. Of course, this makes sense: children need to feel comfortable and secure before diving into a learning process.
Additionally, the adults around preschoolers are typically adamant about creating a secure, focused environment for their kids, and children become accustomed to such environments.
Given that environment is so critical to helping kids learn, here are some simple tips to improve your learning environment:
- Declutter. Get rid of clutter, extra unused furniture, and toys to minimize slips, falls, trips, and injuries, and make entering and exiting the classroom as easy as possible. Throw out cracked, chipped, and broken old toys & materials.
- Control the environment. Provide proper ventilation, cooling, heating, and shading so that the room is comfortable and easy for children to focus in. Be sure it is not too overstimulating for children.
- Use child-friendly shelving. Place low, child-safe, secure shelving throughout your classroom. In addition to making learning materials more accessible for kids, child-safe shelving also minimizes the risk that kids will get injured falling from shelves or other high objects. Secure them to walls and check anchors on wall cubbies and shelves often.
- Use locking cabinets for personal items. Teacher items, coffees, medications, and office supplies should all be stored in a secure, locking cabinet that children cannot open or access.
- Focus on safe sleep. Ensure all preschool staff have received safe sleep training to ensure safe nap times and a safe sleeping environment for kids. Use caution with swaddling and blankets, pacifiers, and other security items that parents send with children for naptime.
- Inspect play and classroom areas routinely. Inspect your play structures, playground equipment, and classroom weekly for loose screws, safety hazards, and loose play equipment that could pose a hazard. Routinely check for ant piles, snakes, and other insect nests that can accumulate quickly.
- Provide ample nutrition and exercise. Nutrition and exercise are of the utmost importance to the health of your kids. Your preschool’s meal plan should meet the nutritional needs of your preschoolers, and you should always be sure to offer ample play or outdoor time to meet preschoolers’ exercise needs. Have a stellar hydration policy in place so that children drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when playing outdoors.
- Potty train correctly. Did you know that more than 80% of children experience setbacks in potty training? Make sure your staff understands how to address these setbacks and support children in the process. Use potty training as a time to build and grow your one-on-one relationships with children. Learn more in our potty training courses.
A Healthy, Safe Preschool Promotes Learning for Preschoolers
At your preschool, the health and safety of your students are of the utmost importance. Fortunately, there are always ways to improve your health and safety protocols and continue serving your children as well as possible.
Here at Impact Early Education, we’re here to help you do just that. We know your work is never done. That’s why we provide valuable professional development courses for preschool teachers, directors, and owners in a way that works for you. To learn more, explore our courses or contact us today.