Does your daycare have an open door policy? In other words, are parents allowed to come to your daycare not only announced, but without knocking? A daycare owner asked: I’m a daycare owner that operates out of my home. Lately, I’ve been having issues with parents just walking in, without ringing the doorbell, or knocking. Has anybody else had this problem? Am I wrong to not want them to just walk in? What’s your opinion?
We asked the fans of OwnADaycare on Facebook who are daycare owners for their opinions on this matter. This caused quite a stir and opinions varied with strong arguments for both sides of the coin. Here are some of the best answers from our daycare owners.
I have an open door policy, so I expect them to walk in to drop off and pick up, I have requested if they are coming during “break time” or another time different from our normal pick up or drop off, that they let me know so I can be alerted to them coming in and it does not interrupt the rest of the children’s brake time. However, if they want to pop in to “catch” me, I don’t have a problem with that. I have had some parents or grandparents show up during non-business hours and just walk in. That I was NOT happy about. Open door policy applies to hours of operation and ALL Of my kid’s friends.
I keep the door locked. It also prevents children from opening the door themselves & is a safety precaution against letting strange people walk in. Word gets around that you’re a daycare & although the chances may be slim to none, you never know if some weirdo will target you because you have many little ones in attendance.
I personally do not want to have to answer the door in the morning. I am busy getting my own children ready for school and breakfast ready, etc. You run a business out of your home. Why would you not have an open door policy where the parents can enter anytime from open to close? You should be up and dressed? As a parent if my home daycare provider did not want me to just walk in during business hours I would wonder what he or she was trying to hide.
I leave my door unlocked during the busy drop off and pick up time. So 7-8 am and then 4:45-5:45 pm. The rest of the time it’s locked for safety reasons. No one picks up or drops off during those times without notice. If they happen to they just knock. This way I don’t have parents just coming in, or random strangers for that matter, but I also don’t have to listen for them at drop off or pick up. I have also put bells on a ring around my door knob so I can hear when it opens
Keep the door locked. I keep mine locked for safety of the children. I had someone try to come in before because the door wasn’t locked. He said he was there to check my furnace. Thank goodness my husband was home and told him no and he left. I have my alarm set and door locked at all times and I live in a great neighborhood but you can never be too safe I believe. Just my opinion.
Mine have always knocked or rung the bell then just walk in. They always stay by the door and say hello if they don’t see me. I never have had a problem with it. Usually I know when they are coming, so I just get the child ready a couple minute before. I never had any parent just walk in while the child wasn’t here. That would be disrespectful! Maybe hang a sign that says “Please knock first”.
I have an open door policy for parents to just walk in during their pick up and drop off times….sometimes if you’re busy with an infant, you can’t always get to the door when it rings….I would rather them just walk right in, it makes them also feel a little more comfortable knowing they can come in when they get here.
Why are you not allowing parents in your homes? To me that seems unreasonable .You are watching their kids. They should have the right to at least be in the same areas that their kids are.
Wow! Lock the door for everyone’s safety! Who cares if people think your hiding something the point is, you have other children as well that you are responsible of, and if they don’t like it – then the door is wide open!!
Keep your door locked. Mine is always locked for safety reasons. Both the screen door and main door. You never know who would just walk in. And whenever I hear a knock, I check to see who it is first, because again, you never know. Even when the UPS lady brings a package, I wait til she leaves before getting the package because you just never know.
I tell parents i lock for safety of kids and i have a baby monitor at door i can hear and they r welcomed to drop by anytime i will be happy to open door. I also tell parents i don’t chit chat during daycare hours since it takes my attention away from watching the daycare kids. Take kids to door politely say goodbye, reach for door knob and start closing the door.
I keep my door double locked because my son is at that age where he tries to escape and takes the dog with him. I then have a very hard time getting the dog back. I would still keep the door locked if I didn’t have that problem.
First always lock and my husband installed a driveway alarm so I always know when someone is pulling in driveway. I had a DCD walk in ONCE and not tell me. He stood outside playroom for a little while before I noticed him. Creepy and I never wanted it to happen again.
I NEVER lock my door. The name of my daycare is HOME AWAY FROM HOME and that is what I want my families to feel like. I prefer that no one knocks. I don’t have time to even stop and say come in or run and unlock the door. I have nothing to hide so no locked doors for this daycare provider.
My parents are told from day one that they are to just walk in. We could be in a number of places in my home during the day and I wouldn’t always hear them knock. I feel that they should be able to come in and feel free to do so. Otherwise i feel that i am putting a barrier between myself and the parents. It’s understandable if there are some uncertain safety issues in a neighborhood, other than that I want them to know that they could walk in at any time. I would want that if i took my children somewhere. : )
If you don’t want them to walk in, just lock the door. However, in MD, you are required to allow the parents an open door all the time. I ask my parents to walk in because I don’t always hear the knock at the door. However, during naptime, and at certain times during the day, I just lock it. During the interview I explain how drop off and pick up typically go. In the am, they walk in and pass me the child and leave. Less time for the child to have separation anxiety. At pick up time the parents all come in and we all sit around and talk about the day, and the kids get to play with mommy, daddy, me and their friends in the daycare. That also allows them to have less anxiety about being separate from them. It is your house though, and your business. You make the rules.
I can understand “dropping in” to a point but after a while it becomes a trust issue and if parents feel the need to drop in after 3 months u have not built the trust, so bye bye.
I always tell me parents to just come in. I may be busy changing a diaper or feeding a baby. They are courteous enough if they are coming other than their normal time to call or text me so I know to expect them. I live in a small town though, so it doesn’t bother me for them to just walk in. I’m not allowed to lock doors during business hours because it’s considered a fire hazard.
I must have respectful parents because I have never had this problem. All my parents do the knock-then-walk even though I’ve told them knocking isn’t necessary. Even though it is your home…it is also a business! You wouldn’t expect to knock on the door of a restaurant or a retailer ESPECIALLY if your child was inside! As a parent…if I was not allowed to be inside the establishment that is caring for my child I would NOT have my child enrolled! In my state we have the open door policy…parents are allowed free access to their child any time during business hours and we are NOT allowed to lock our doors during those hours as well. Simply post a sign that says to knock or ring bell, but don’t lock them out…all that will accomplish is a raised level of suspicion among the parents!
I acquired a great family a few years ago because the previous provider wouldn’t let the dad into the house at pickup. She opened the door, handed him the child, and then closed the door. He didn’t like that and found another daycare: me. I leave my door unlocked at drop off and pick up, the parents just walk in. In between, the door is locked. The trust you can build with an open door is priceless! Although, of course, if you really want/need to leave your door locked all the time, just simply do so and explain to the parents your policy.
I prefer my parents to just walk in as well. I tell them if they are uncomfortable doing that that can give a little “courtesy knock” before walking in if they’d like. Most of mine walk in. I have them contract their hours so I know approximately what time everyone will come in anyway. I have nothing to hide so they should be allowed to come in anytime during business hours if they want.
Not letting people in and keeping your door locked are two completely different things. My parents are free to enter any of the 4 rooms that I use for daycare. They cannot wander aimlessly thru my home. The purpose of them be able to come in un announced is so they feel that you are not hiding things from them, but not to give them free reign on your home.
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