Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Local Time In Israel Asia - Jerusalem
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Daycare safety & security in Israel - kindergartens and preschools.

daycare safety and securitySome very unpleasant incidents in Israel's daycare, kindergartens and preschools have caused real anxiety amongst parents. Prior to the start of the academic year on 1 September we need to ensure that daycare safety and security checks are in place and all children can play, learn, and interact in a safe and nurturing environment indoors and outdoors.

You can expect a huge difference in levels of daycare safety and security in private daycare and in municipal daycare, kindergartens and preschools.

Here is a list of things to look out for (some suggestions made by members of our Facebook community)

Before enrolling your precious child into daycare, ask for recommendations from your neighbors and friends especially if you are entering the education system for the first time. There are parent support groups on Facebook which are an ideal platform to ask questions and get recommendations.

The Israel Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services sets out these guidelines

  • Sending your little one to a Mishpachton in a Metapelet's home?  The maximum number of children allowed is 5 and none older than 12 months.
  • Number of carers per child in a daycare center

Age

Maximum Capacity

Adult:Child

Ratio

Classroom Size

Area per child

6 - 15 months

 15

 1:6

50 sq m

3.3 sq m

16 - 24 months

 22

 1:9

70 sq m

3 sq m

25 - 36 months

  27

 1:11

70 sq m

2.6 sq m

3-4 years

3

2:35

-

-

  • Ratio of carers:children in a municipal kindergarten, ages 3-6, is 2:35. 
  • Private kindergartens usually have one carer to 3 or 4 children between the ages of 3 - 24 months. Ages 2 -4 months, it is usual to have one carer to 6 or 7 children.  From ages 4 -6 you can expect one carer for every 10 children.

A list of some daycare safety and security questions you might want to ask

General security

  1. Is there a security gate and is it locked at all times?
  2. Are there security cameras around the perimeter and at the main entrance of the kindergarten?
  3. Are there security cameras within the indoor space of the day care center?
  4. What are the rules for dropping-off and picking-up your child? Who is authorized? How is that monitored?
  5. Can a parent or guardian just pop-in at any time to observe or pick-up their child?
  6. What qualifications do the caregivers have and what kind of background checks are done on staff members?
  7. How is suspicious behavior handled?

Health safety questions

  1. Are staff members trained in first-aid and CPR?
  2. What systems are in place for monitoring your child's health?
  3. Rules for administering medications?
  4. Sterilization and sanitization of play areas, surfaces and toys on a daily/weekly basis?
  5. Potty and bathroom hygiene?

Israel's medical and healthcare system explained here...

Food safety related issues

  1. Kitchen hygiene
  2. Food allergies and sensitivities
  3. If meals are provided, what is the daily/weekly menu plan?
  4. If you are providing meals, what factors need to be taken into consideration? Is there adequate refrigeration? What about heating of food?

Accident safety

  1. Consider some of these; smoke detectors, anti-slip floors, maintenance of outdoor play equipment, sand-pit hygiene.
  2. What plan is in place in case of an emergency; fire, earthquake or a national security situation?

Physical and emotional safety - common signs of child abuse

  • Changes in your child's behavior or extreme mood swings
  • Showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
  • Showing fear or anxiety toward the daycare or an employee
  • Unexplained injuries, bruises, welts and cuts
  • Reverting to infantile behavior that they outgrew a long time ago
  • Night terrors or recurring nightmares
  • Urinary tract infections or soreness around the genitals
  • Trust your instincts

What should you do if you suspect daycare abuse?

If you feel that the safety and security of a child in daycare is being compromised in any way, reporting your suspicions to the daycare operator or manager is simply not enough. If you suspect or have evidence pointing to daycare abuse, immediately report your suspicions to the authorities as well.  Someone who reports child abuse is not necessarily making an accusation, but rather they are reporting their suspicions that there may be abuse or neglect occurring. It’s important to remember that your actions could prevent further instances of abuse and save a child from the lasting effects of abuse

 

Good luck for kindergarten. Learn, laugh and have fun!

 

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela