At Rainbow Child Care Center, we recognize the importance of keeping children safe. That is our top priority, starting when you first step-in to our building. All of our buildings have secured key pad entrances, as a first line of defense against strangers entering our facilities. We work hard at encouraging parents to not let people in behind them, at the risk of feeling awkward by shutting the door on someone, but we know all parents want their children to be safe as well. Our teachers are also trained to check the ID of anyone that is picking up that they are unfamiliar with. Once again, our goal is safety, not to be rude to grandma who is picking up for the first time.
Children’s social skills really start to blossom around 3-5 years of age, which makes it important to have conversations about stranger safety with your child and set clear limits without scaring them. Concepts such as strangers and danger are still very abstract concepts to children and they won’t always know intuitively what is right and wrong. Your child may think of their aunt that they see twice a year as a stranger, but the man who uses the same bus stop every day as someone that they know, though you have never had a conversation.
Though it sometimes seems like a scary world out there, having conversations with your child can help ease their anxieties and help them feel prepared for new situations. Talking to them early and often about the topic of strangers will help them as their brains develop and they are better able to understand the concepts. Avoid scaring your child, by keeping the conversation light and setting boundaries that your child is cognitively capable to understand. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be for your child to follow the limits you set.