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  #1  
Old 09-09-2010, 07:04 PM
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Default Parents Walking in Unannounced and Way Ahead of Pick up Time

Today I had a mom walk in an hour early. I was not expecting any parents. I was in the kitchen with a child and they were eating snack. I was cleaning up and stuffing a cookie in my mouth. I turned around to do something and got the crap scared out of me. There was a mom standing in my dining room. I did not hear her open the front door. She did not knock, ring the doorbell, or say Whohoa I am here I am early. She quietly walked in, thru my living room, stepped over the gate into the dining room and was standing there looking into my kitchen. My heart about hit the floor, because it startled me.

While I do have an open door policy, I do expect parents to respect my home, and that means if you are going to show up an hour early, call and let me know, so that I can get your kids up and ready to go. Do not sneak in my home and scare the **** out of me. I will be buying some type of alarm to put on my front door so that when it is opened somehow I will be alerted. I am also going to start locking my door after drop offs and unlocking it before pickups. I have 2 families that are taking their kids to "real preschool", and I am going to start making them ring a doorbell instead of getting free reign to just walk in when they come to pick up and drop back off. My daycare room is to the back of my home. You can actually see it from the front living room where parents enter. I normally have a gate at the doorway to keep people from walking thru the house with their shoes on, but some just don't get it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:55 PM
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I see "open door policy" as a way of dropping in unannounced to see how things really are without notice. This doesn't mean walking right in though, so I would just put in your newsletter that from now on the door will remained locked at all times or during certain times for the safety of the children. Even if you're in a small town, I would always have the doors locked because you just never know! It doesn't necessarily reflect the parent's behavior, but it's a good business practice.

If you want, add a bell that hangs over the door or have one on the door handle like some small coffee shops or other places have. This is commonly found in elementary classrooms around here. The bell noise though would just drive me nuts, lol.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abigail View Post
If you want, add a bell that hangs over the door or have one on the door handle like some small coffee shops or other places have. This is commonly found in elementary classrooms around here. The bell noise though would just drive me nuts, lol.
My Chiropractors office has something really neat, and probably really cheap, to alert them when a patient walks in. They put a wind chime on the ceiling, about a foot from the door. The breeze from the door opening makes a rather pleasant noise compared to a traditional door bell or alarm.

Just a thought!
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:29 AM
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I keep my door dead-bolt locked now between all drop-offs and pick-ups after a similar incident with a parent. I now explain it in my handbook ....

"I have an 'open-door' policy where parents are welcome to stop in anytime that your child is in my care. However, for the safety and security of all of the children, I keep the front door locked."

And during interviews I go on to explain that I *never* have unexpected visitors at daycare - even service/repair/people, I explain to the kids ahead of time who is coming and why and what they will be doing here. I think it's important to the children's sense of security that they know some stranger isn't just popping in. I also emphasize that my open door policy is only for mom and dad (doesn't include some well-meaning relatives and grandparents) and that when they do stop by unannounced, I expect them to jump right in and join the activity in progress - even if it's fingerpainting, hokey-pokey or chicken-dance:-) Because it's not fair to the children to interrupt one of their activities just because a parent stops by.

I've never had a parent have an issue with the locked door after I explain it all this way. Good luck!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:58 AM
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This can be a double edge sword....Having the doors locked are a grerat idea..however having a door locked also prevents emergency personnel from having entry in the case of a emergency, and also prevents kids from escaping in case of fire...You dont want it too hard to get in or out. I went through a situation once when my son was little, and I was so sick, I could not get to the door to let the ambulance people in....it was a nightmare...Might just want to keep that in mind...
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:07 AM
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Yikes! Keep that door locked! Even if your in a low crime area, a dead bolt can keep a child from wondering out or people from wandering in. Even though it's a daycare, it's still your home and you have a right to keep things private.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:52 AM
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I have had parents scare the crap out of me more than once as well, so I had to place a note on my door, to please knock first before entering, many times I have my door locked as well for safety issues. I hate that when parents just come on in- I even bold lettered it in my contract- a few yrs. ago- please respect my home and daycare, please knock before coming in and to please remove shoes if you are going to walk past the tiled foyer area. I have been really getting mad at a parent that just walks thru with his shoes off, just to leave my check, diapers, etc... I am standing right here, hand everything to me!! We have a brand new house(even if it was 50 yrs. old, I would still have everyone take their shoes off) It is going to be nasty here, and I certainly do not want mud, salt, ice,snow, and everything else all over my carpet. I am adding that to my newsletter next month, hopefully this takes care of it!! I hate having to tell a parent, please hand it to me, I am standing right here, so you don't have to walk all across my living room to the kitchen, there is even a table next to the foyer, you can set things on it, if needed!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:10 AM
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Last winter/spring I had issues with a dad picking up and leaving grease/mudd on my area rug, plus many a day he walked off the area rug to the carpet. I will pry have to go to a note on the door. So sad that an adult has to remind another adult to be respectful.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:25 AM
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I keep my doors locked after the last one comes and about 10 minutes before pick up times. If they want to come early - they can call. All the other doors are unlocked..but the front door is locked !
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:44 AM
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My doors are always unlocked and my parents always walk in unnanounced and find me. Sometimes I am outside with the children, somtimes in the restroom with them or busy playing. I don't have time to go unlock/answer doors every time a parent arrives.

But, my parents are never seemingly sneaky about it. Sounds like this parent was intentionally checking up to see how you are with the children when no one is "looking"
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Last winter/spring I had issues with a dad picking up and leaving grease/mudd on my area rug, plus many a day he walked off the area rug to the carpet. I will pry have to go to a note on the door. So sad that an adult has to remind another adult to be respectful.
I totally agree, everyone should have respect when coming into another one's house/daycare!!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:10 AM
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Where is the line drawn from home/daycare....daycare/my home? I have always had an open door policy and will continue to do so, just no more unlocked doors, and I am going to request if you are picking your children up early to call.

I just feel it is an invasion of my home to have a parent walk in, unannounced, so quietly and say nothing, that I get the crap scared out of me when I see someone standing in the room beside me. It wasn't like she just walked in teh front door and called out my name, she crossed over the gate and walked thru 2 room and still never said a word. Pissed I am.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:46 AM
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Yeah mac...the being sneaky about it would irritate me too. Like I said, my parents all come in unnanounced and walk in - which I am okay with, but if they came in quietly/sneaky like this parent, I'd be upset too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Today I had a mom walk in an hour early. I was not expecting any parents. I was in the kitchen with a child and they were eating snack. I was cleaning up and stuffing a cookie in my mouth. I turned around to do something and got the crap scared out of me. There was a mom standing in my dining room. I did not hear her open the front door. She did not knock, ring the doorbell, or say Whohoa I am here I am early. She quietly walked in, thru my living room, stepped over the gate into the dining room and was standing there looking into my kitchen. My heart about hit the floor, because it startled me.

While I do have an open door policy, I do expect parents to respect my home, and that means if you are going to show up an hour early, call and let me know, so that I can get your kids up and ready to go. Do not sneak in my home and scare the **** out of me. I will be buying some type of alarm to put on my front door so that when it is opened somehow I will be alerted. I am also going to start locking my door after drop offs and unlocking it before pickups. I have 2 families that are taking their kids to "real preschool", and I am going to start making them ring a doorbell instead of getting free reign to just walk in when they come to pick up and drop back off. My daycare room is to the back of my home. You can actually see it from the front living room where parents enter. I normally have a gate at the doorway to keep people from walking thru the house with their shoes on, but some just don't get it.
Lock the door!
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:01 PM
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I'm wondering what you said when you saw her- after you choked on your cookie? I would have probably taught the kids a new word or two! That would make me crazy!
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:51 AM
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After reading this, I really hope you don't have a dog.

Because if you do, I would be having a chat with Rover about his "doggy duties" and 'deriliction of duty'. "Sneaking up" isn't possible at our house....cars slow down on the highway, and at least one of the pooches sends up the warning.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:35 AM
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Oh I hate this. I always have children ready to be picked up, dry diaper, clean face & hands, and when a parent comes in unexpected I am just like "WOAH!" I tell parents they can pick up their child late, or drop off early any time they please but they MUST tell me ahead of time. For late drop offs they must tell me 1/2 hour before their child's normal drop off and for early pickups they must tell me 1/2 hour in advance if they want their child ready to go, if not then they are going to be knocking on the door until I can get done what I am doing and come answer.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:37 PM
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I keep my door unlocked except during nap time if I happen to lay down with the children. I have a cowbell on my screen door and jingle bells on the storm door. I also have a small camera that aims just at the front door so I can keep an eye on the door when in the kitchen. I haven't used the camera in awhile because none of the parents I have right now are sneaky. I don't lock the door because I'm afraid of trapping the kids in an emergency and because I dislike being in the middle of cleaning a BM diper and hear the door being knocked on over and over for the two minutes it takes to finish cleaning up and washing hands.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:39 AM
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Default RE: sneaky parents

Hi, there,

I had the same problem! In my facility, there's only one entrance for the parents, which is a heavy steel door that bangs shut (or makes some type of noise) no matter how quietly someone attempts to enter. However, I have one father who somehow always managed to sneak in without anyone being aware -- many times he'd just materialize in the doorway, and who
knew how long he'd been standing there, out of sight. Not that myself or the staff were doing anything suspect; it was just creepy...not to mention that every time he came in, he'd be scanning the room for potential issues to complain about.

I finally got smart and acquired one of these for about $12:
http://www.amazon.com/Driveway-Patro.../dp/B0000645RH

Best thing I ever did!!! Mine is mounted high up on the entry door frame; the very second that door opens, the receiver starts chiming up in the office/playroom area. No more ninja-like appearances from this particular father (or anyone else).

Hope this helps you out!
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:02 PM
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gosh,I have a few parents that do that as well...it is so creepy. Plus, I now have two toddler/pre-school kids that are trying their best to get that front door open. I am going to buy the driveway sensor but now I feel like I must lock my doors. Friends of my parents were murdered in their kitchen yesterday by a stranger who just walked in....If emergency personnel need to get in, they can break a window :-(
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MARSTELAC View Post
gosh,I have a few parents that do that as well...it is so creepy. Plus, I now have two toddler/pre-school kids that are trying their best to get that front door open. I am going to buy the driveway sensor but now I feel like I must lock my doors. Friends of my parents were murdered in their kitchen yesterday by a stranger who just walked in....If emergency personnel need to get in, they can break a window :-(
That is really creepy! Hopefully you are in a safe neighborhood. I would want my doors locked if I had gaps between expecting someone. I've never heard of a driveway sensor, I better go google it.
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:31 PM
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That happens here too. With one dad inparticular. He walks in and goes through two rooms sometimes (if I'm in the kitchen while getting a meal or snack) and he just stands there at the doorway, never saying anything until I happen to glance over and see him. Sometimes I'll even have the door locked (since the room they enter is also our nap room/everything else room lol, and during nap if I'm cleaning up in the kitchen, I lock that door since I'm not in there to see if anyone enters. Don't want any of my kids being kidnapped while I wash dishes)! But sometimes I'll leave it locked after nap so I can do potty breaks in the bathroom without having to worry about someone sneaking in and taking a kid while I'm in the back. But often a parent still walks in without my knowing it! The only thing I can figure out is one of the kids unlock that door when they recognize the parent and knows whoes parent it is. But it sure does make your heart skip a few beats! Especially when I've just been getting after one of the children. Or if it's their child I'm getting after! whew. I hate that!
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:35 PM
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Abigail: up a few posts...driveway sensor mentioned
"I finally got smart and acquired one of these for about $12:
http://www.amazon.com/Driveway-Patro.../dp/B0000645RH" by Now What:

I'm in a safe neighborhood but my parents' neighborhood was even safer :-(
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
That happens here too. With one dad inparticular. He walks in and goes through two rooms sometimes (if I'm in the kitchen while getting a meal or snack) and he just stands there at the doorway, never saying anything until I happen to glance over and see him. Sometimes I'll even have the door locked (since the room they enter is also our nap room/everything else room lol, and during nap if I'm cleaning up in the kitchen, I lock that door since I'm not in there to see if anyone enters. Don't want any of my kids being kidnapped while I wash dishes)! But sometimes I'll leave it locked after nap so I can do potty breaks in the bathroom without having to worry about someone sneaking in and taking a kid while I'm in the back. But often a parent still walks in without my knowing it! The only thing I can figure out is one of the kids unlock that door when they recognize the parent and knows whoes parent it is. But it sure does make your heart skip a few beats! Especially when I've just been getting after one of the children. Or if it's their child I'm getting after! whew. I hate that!
Wow, if I had kids unlocking doors for people, I would have to put a chain lock on the door - high enough where they can't reach it. That would make me mad and scared that kids were unlocking doors for people without my knowledge/permission! The doors are locked for a reason, and you should be the only one unlocking them!
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:18 AM
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I keep all my doors locked if a parent wants to come at anytime they are welcomed but they need to knock and they I let them in
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:56 PM
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Wow, if I had kids unlocking doors for people, I would have to put a chain lock on the door - high enough where they can't reach it. That would make me mad and scared that kids were unlocking doors for people without my knowledge/permission! The doors are locked for a reason, and you should be the only one unlocking them!
because of licensing we have to have the locks and door knobs where the children can reach them by themself without any special knowledge. At least we're "allowed" to lock them with the regular doorknob locks...just not dead bolted... I hate it that they can reach them and unlock them without permission. If I could catch the one who unlocks it when they see a parent pull in, I'd sure be doing some talking to them! But it's always when I'm busy with one in the bathroom, or getting snack or meal ready in the kitchen. They've run in ahead of me before from outside, and locked me out. THAT didn't go over well. But it didn't stop them from still doing it occasionally, especially if they're trying to lock another child out after we've all been outside.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:39 PM
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Default unannounced visits

I have a plug in chime you can buy at any hardware store for $20 that way you can have it plugged in or not. I always have it plugged in during dc hours not only to announce someone coming in, but also just for the saftey reasons.
I also have an open door policy. but my door is only left unlocked during dropp off and departure times.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:25 AM
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I could have wrote that post myself even the part about the cookie, lol. I have one parent who did this several times- sneak in and "observe" for a minute before making her presence known. I thought it was creepy and I didnt like the fact that she was sneaky about it. First I bought a Driveway Patrol. It is an alarm that sounds when someone pulls into your driveway. You can mount it wherever you want, it uses a laser to detect motion so whenever someone came near my porch mine went off. I bought it new off ebay for around $16. It worked well, but during naptime it had to be turned off because it was too loud. Then, I decided that I was just going to lock the doors. My dh has a carpet cleaning business that he runs out of our home so we have deliveries all of the time. One particular day, dd said "momma, someone just opened our door". It was the UPS man setting a box inside my door. Since then, I explained to the parents that my door will be locked but that they are free to come whenever they would like. They are all fine with it, they actually prefer me to keep it locked. I unlock it about 30 minutes before pick up time and it is unlocked for drop off in the a.m.

Also, I was just remembering when my oldest dd started daycare and some man showed up that the daycare provider didnt know. He was supposedly someone her husband had known many years before. My dd was so scared she hid from him. Honestly, at that time, it freaked me out that any random person could just walk into her house. As a parent, I would have liked for her to keep her door locked for that reason and because she lived off of a very busy street and I always worried one of those kids would just walk out and get ran over.
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