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  • No child should ever be left alone while in child care.
  • You should supervise children at all times, including when children are sleeping and while they are using the bathroom.
  • You should have a written policy regarding supervision and discipline of children.
  • Your policy should describe the type of guidance you will provide to the children, based on their age, and should specify that the following are strictly prohibited: corporal punishment, emotional abuse, humiliation, abusive language, and withdrawal of food and other basic needs.
  • Guidance should include positive, nonviolent, nonabusive methods for achieving discipline. The policy should also include any specific precautions to be taken during play in high-risk areas or while using high-risk equipment.
  • Finally, your policy should state that any acts of aggression by children, such as fighting, biting, or hitting will result in the separation of the children involved; attention to any harmed individual, including medical attention, if necessary; and notification of parents of the children involved.
  • After any incident you should review whether you were giving the children enough supervision and whether the activities in which the children were engaged are appropriate. You may need to change how you supervise the children and the activities you plan for them. Your policy should also state what will happen if such incidents recur.


Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.

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