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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Parents Just Walking into my Daycare home
Unregistered 12:45 PM 02-25-2009
Do most of you allow parents to enter your home by just walking in or do they knock and wait for an answer? All of my parents, except for one dad, knocks first. I always answer door within 10 seconds. I have one dad that after watching his child for 3.5 years, decided to just start walking in without knocking first. Although I am running childcare out of my home, I feel that it is still my home, and I deserve just a little bit of privacy (ie: I walk out of the bathroom, and he is standing there).

So.... I starting locking the door. He said nothing yesterday. But today he said "you're just killing me". I said, "What do you mean" (playing studpid). He said by locking the door. I explained to him that I am trying to keep all the kids safe, including my own. I don't want a stranger just walking in here, expecially if I am upstairs getting the babies up from nap. It is for everyones protection. We do have a federal prison less than 10 miles away, and last month a murderer had escaped. It took them a week to catch him and he was hanging around (at a gas station) not but 5 miles from where we live.

I guess I am just annoyed, because along with the confinement of watching kids for 10 hours a day, I now feel like I have no personal space left whatsoever. He also doesn't have a regular pickup time. He can walk in anywhere from 12:00 to 5:00. Please give your opinions. Maybe I am just crazy.
Unregistered 05:36 PM 02-25-2009
That's just a flat out safety issue. If he can walk in, anyone can walk in ( or out) and maybe you should just thank him for drawing that to your attention. It's your house and you can (and probably should) lock your doors if you want to. You are not denying him access, just trying to keep the children safe you care for safe. He can wait a minute.
lilbiddapopcorn 01:49 AM 02-26-2009
I agree. I always kept my doors locked. It's for everyone's safety and let's face it, it's not that much of an inconvenience for the parent/s to wait a few seconds for you to open it. I remember a couple times I forgot to lock the bottom part of the door but put the chain on, and everytime I did one parent in particular would go to open it without knocking and i'd hear it slam from the chain stopping the door. It drove me crazy. Even when all the locks were locked I'd hear her trying to turn the knob before she would try knocking. Just a pet peeve of mine... If a parent has a problem with it, just explain that you have an open door policy but that doesn't mean you leave your door unlocked.
unregistered 02:24 PM 02-26-2009
Yes you are not wrong in any way.

Try to explain to the parents that the main reason of locking the door is for security.

I believe they will reason with you because you are doing nothing but to safe guard the children.
tymaboy 02:41 PM 02-26-2009
Every so often I forget to lock my front door & one time DCD walked right in. Since then I put in my policy to know & wait for the door to be opened for the simple fact that this is my home.
megoddess444 08:41 AM 03-03-2009
All I have to say is "WOW" parents can sometimes be a real pain in the @ss!!! How mad would that same parent be if the child got out of the house?? Sometimes you can never win. Stick to your guns...I would love to be at your house the next time the parent "made themselves at home"
ajs_mommom 01:28 PM 03-25-2009
Hi! I just joined today, but I have a little different take on this situation. We live out in the country and have dogs (mini dachshunds) that bark at anything, so I certainly know when someone is here. I encourage the parents to let themselves in when they come to drop off or pick up their kids. Saves me the time and steps of going over there to do it, and the parents seem comfortable with it. They know that they are welcome to pop in at any time. As for the safety of the children, we have a large great room (kitchen, dining room and living room) that is the main area for the day care kids, and a playroom that is right off of that, so I know where the kids are at all times.
JUst had to add my two cents. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
TTOTS 07:22 AM 03-31-2009
I also have an open door policy. My dog tells me when someone is here, I also have the parents knock before they just open the door and come in. We are not allowed to lock our doors during daycare hours for emergency reasons. I can see my front door from the daycare playroom so I always see who is coming up to the door. As for the safety, they know not to go near the doors without an adult present.
Unregistered 10:24 AM 04-02-2009
Yes it can depend on the set up you have in your home as some others have noted, BUT in general it is your home first and your business second, not all providers have dogs to keep guard. This is something that should be clearly stated in your policy book. After all you are a "home" daycare not a seven-11.
mac60 04:37 AM 07-07-2009
I agree, a quick knock would be nice. Would they want us just walking into their home.

I do agree, I too have an open door policy, that does not mean my doors are unlocked for all to just walk in.

I have just recently started locking my front door. I have noticed so many more people walking on our street in the last few months. While I do have 2 dogs, I am not leaving the safety of my daycare kids to my dogs.

I also have a 2 1/2 yr old, and he is quick and a sneak, and does try to open my front door. Can't have that!
tymaboy 06:42 AM 07-07-2009
In April I had a new family start. It took about a month before the mother learned that my door is always locked, I would always hear the handle wiggle before she would knock. Another family the mother will always hold the door as she is leaving until I lock it (its an old door that needs pressure to completely close & lock it) Its funny how some families want you to lock the doors & others think the door is unlocked all the time.
Reply 08:42 AM 07-07-2009
I keep mine both locked and unlocked. When I know people are coming, I unlock them. I have 5 parents who come within 20 minutes of each other in the morning. The parents just walk in, I prefer it that way. I welcome them to do so. I am sometimes in the middle of a feed, or a change and dont want to be interrupted. So them walking in is easier for me. If Im not expecting anyone, or notice strangers in the neighborhood, they are locked. parents just deal with it. They know, try the handle, if its locked, knock. QUIETLY at first,.. if I dont come,...louder. if its unlocked, Im expecting someone, or heard you pull up so just come on in.
judytrickett 01:19 PM 07-16-2009
My daycare is also my home. And, both my home and my daycare are my responsibility to keep safe. So, yes, I keep the doors locked. I have never had a parent have a problem with this either. One would think they would see it as a positive knowing that anyone can not just walk in to your home.

When I was younger and in University I once had a man walk right into my apartment. It was a very scary situation. Since then I have always kept my doors locked. You just never know.
GretasLittleFriends 08:13 AM 07-17-2009
For me it typically depends on the time of day. If it's daylight hours and I'm awake the door is unlocked. If it's dark out (between dusk and dawn) the door is locked. However, we live on 20 acres and the kitchen and living room windows face the driveway so I see when people come in the driveway. I've had unknown vehicles pull in the driveway then I do go lock the door before they're out of their vehicle. It's typically people wanting to sell meat out of their vans.

During daylight hours the parents that I have coming or going typically just knock then open the door and come in. I encourage this the way my house is set up as I don't always hear them knock if I'm in the middle of something. During night hours I know when the parents are expected and leave the door locked. I see their headlights pull in the driveway then go open the door for them as they arrive at the door.
Unregistered 04:02 PM 08-07-2009
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Yes it can depend on the set up you have in your home as some others have noted, BUT in general it is your home first and your business second, not all providers have dogs to keep guard. This is something that should be clearly stated in your policy book. After all you are a "home" daycare not a seven-11.
I agree. I have a mom who just walks right in and it bugs me. Her daughter was knocking one morning and I heard the mom say, you don't have to knock, just walk in - where did she get that?!? Geez. But I'm with the other posters too that if I'm not going to be RIGHT there I lock it, I don't trust people. If I'm expecting parents and I'm right there, I'll unlock it.
foster84 11:12 AM 08-10-2009
I agree that you have to treat your place as your home first and your business second. You are not inconveniencing him in any way that it breaking your business relationship with him. You did not promise to leave your door unlocked for him, he just took it for granted.

If you are feeling guilty or bad or hesitant about it, just remember that legally you are not bound to leave your door unlocked. If anything, it should be locked, for the reasons you mentioned.
ConcernedMotherof2 12:37 PM 08-11-2009
I'm curious as to why this father told you that you're killing him. Wow... he was really inconvenienced that much?

Lock your doors It's your home. Period. You obviously have an approachable personality, or this dad wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to start simply walking into your home. It shouldn't be that hard to communicate to him and all of your other parents the reasons behind your decision. You don't have to justify your right to lock your own doors.
AmandasFCC 05:42 PM 08-18-2009
I personally have an open door policy. I have gates up that no parent seems to be able to figure out how to open, let alone a child, that keeps the children safe, and I am never out of the room for longer than it takes to go to the bathroom.

I let the parents just walk in because of the set up of my home. We use the side door to enter, which goes straight down to my playroom. there's a gate at the bottom of the stairs which keeps the kids from running up the stairs. Plus, when the kids are playing they are noisy. I can always hear the door open, but I don't necessarily hear the door bell or a knock. This is the best option for me, but I can totally see how it wouldn't be for others

YOU set the boundaries in your home. Not the parents. You have every right to lock your doors, and I can't for the life of me fathom why a parent wouldn't be happy that you're protecting their kids.
sunmoonandstars 07:26 PM 09-08-2009
While I tell my parents they are welcome to stop by anytime their children are with me (they are their parents after all), I ALWAYS lock the door. This is definitely a BIG, HUGE, safety issue. Not only could just anyone walk in...young children are known for sneaking out when the thought occurs to them. Even when parents come to pick up their kids...I have a few who take off running the second the door is open.

Not only that, there was a burglary behind me was during the day and the guy went right through the front door.

I want them to know that they always have access to their children, but also that I am doing everything in my power to keep them safe.
Unregistered 04:49 AM 09-09-2009
If you had a policy that tells parents they can just walk in then fine, but gosh this guy just took it upon himself to walk in without even knocking?! That would make me so mad!

Here in VA you have to have a door code to get in all daycare centers and you have to be buzzed in to the elementary schools, you can't just walk in to your child's own school much less would I want someone just walking into my home.

Is it annoying to have to wait to be buzzed in or let in? Sure, sometimes. But it's for safety reasons and I would NEVER want to be the "the one" on the local news because a child walked out of my home and wandered down the street.

Kids change, personalities change, they have a bad day. Just because they might not walk out today doesn't mean they wouldn't try it tomorrow.
Unregistered 08:17 PM 09-13-2009
I unlock in the morning and people just come in...however, they stay in the foyer until I get there (which is pretty quickly) after the last child arrives, I lock the door and leave it locked until folks start picking up at night. Personally, I prefer them to just come in, but I would hate it if they wandered past the front door!
tinytotzdaycare 09:08 AM 09-27-2009
I keep my door unlocked from 6am-7am since all of my kiddos arrive by then. After 7am sharp the door remains locked, if parents arrive late they know to ring the chime and I will get to the door as soon as I can. We then unlock the door around 3:30pm when our parents start arriving. As for knocking, they know to just come on in during but if its anyother time they have to knock cause the door will be locked =)
I also agree that it depends on your house set up as well, we have our childcare in 1800 sq ft lower level especially built for such. We have a seperate entrance and that helps!
Tags:intrusions, uninvited parents
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