Child Care Emergency Preparedness

Child care providers must have a plan to protect children in the event of emergencies. The process of developing and maintaining a plan along with regular practice drills makes it more likely that the child care agency will be equipped to protect children when a disaster strikes. Your Licensing Program Evaluator will review and monitor your plan to ensure that it complies with the requirements in the emergency preparedness licensing law.

Emergency Preparedness Law

The Emergency Preparedness Law became effective July 1, 2013. The law requires licensed child care centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes to develop a written multi-hazard plan to protect children in the event of emergencies. The agency plan must include:

  • Procedures for notifying parents
  • Designated relocation sites and evacuation routes
  • Reunification plans for children and families
  • Written individualized plans for children with special needs

The plan must also include provisions for protecting children during fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, chemical spills and floods.

Preparing Child Care Programs for Emergencies – A Six Step Approach

A detailed manual to assist child care providers with development of disaster plans was created in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health. The recommendations in the manual entitled Preparing Child Care Programs for Emergencies – A Six Step Approach come from public health officials, emergency management agencies, Childcare Aware of America, Save the Children, and others. The manual is also available in a checklist format as an aid in developing your disaster plan.

Emergency Preparedness - Additional Resources

The following are links to additional resources to help in developing an emergency preparedness plan:

IS-36 Multi-hazard Planning for Child Care

FEMA

FEMA for Kids

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Red Cross

Helping Children After a Natural Disaster