Many childcare centers close for a week or two around the holidays, giving staff and children a much-needed break to spend time with their families. While this break can be restorative and restful for staff members, it can be a different story for the center itself. If a building is unoccupied for a few weeks, things can go wrong quickly if steps aren’t taken to protect the center. Theft and property damage are more likely when buildings are unoccupied, even for just a short period of time. As an owner or director of a center, there are a few things you can do to protect your building and prevent these issues.
- Make sure all doors are locked: Childcare centers typically have many different exits, often one from each classroom. Making sure all doors are locked and secured is very important.
- Secure outdoor equipment: Put playground toys away and ensure playground fences are closed and locked.
- Lock vehicles: If your center has vans or busses, park them in a garage if possible. Check that all vehicle doors are locked.
- Keep the building heated: Turning down the heat to lower costs is fine but make sure the building is kept warm enough to prevent pipes and sprinkler systems from freezing.
- Turn on security cameras: If the center is equipped with security cameras, make sure they’re still recording during this time. Exterior cameras can deter theft and interior cameras can help capture any issues that happen inside the building.
- Plan for snow removal: It’s still important to make sure sidewalks and parking lots are clear of snow and ice during this time, so ensure maintenance employees or your snow removal contractor are available.
- Check on the building: If possible, stop by and check on the building a few times during the break. You’ll be able to notice and address any issues more quickly.