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Old 04-08-2016, 12:56 PM
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Default Locked Myself Out Today - What Should I Do?

I had four children in my care this morning. A package arrive which I signed for at the door, but let the door lock behind me. The children were inside and fine and could see me from the floor to ceiling Windows by the door. However, it took 10 minutes for the leasing office to open the door. It felt like an agonizing eternity. No one was injured, harmed, etc. when I got back in the children laughed and jumped up down asking for pizza.

I am sick to my stomach about this awful mistake and don't know what to do exactly. I'm in California and have informed the parents concerned. However, what happened doesn't seem to fit on the accident/incident report. Do I need to fill one out and submit it anyways to DSS? My licensing analyst is notoriously mean and is always happy to close homes/daycare so down for the slightest thing, so I hesitate to to report or even ask her unless required to do so.

Please advise. I'm ready to do the right thing and accept responsibility for my horrible mistake. Just want to get some guidance before I approaching the authorities.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:04 PM
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This is tough ... I'm in CA and off of the top of my head I'd say that it falls under "report it". You were outside and they were inside. You were inaccessible to them for that time. I can't tell you that it won't be a big deal because honestly I don't know however I do know that if this does need to be reported and you don't and one of your clients calls it in then licensing will have a field day with you for not only it happening but for not reporting it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I had four children in my care this morning. A package arrive which I signed for at the door, but let the door lock behind me. The children were inside and fine and could see me from the floor to ceiling Windows by the door. However, it took 10 minutes for the leasing office to open the door. It felt like an agonizing eternity. No one was injured, harmed, etc. when I got back in the children laughed and jumped up down asking for pizza.

I am sick to my stomach about this awful mistake and don't know what to do exactly. I'm in California and have informed the parents concerned. However, what happened doesn't seem to fit on the accident/incident report. Do I need to fill one out and submit it anyways to DSS? My licensing analyst is notoriously mean and is always happy to close homes/daycare so down for the slightest thing, so I hesitate to to report or even ask her unless required to do so.

Please advise. I'm ready to do the right thing and accept responsibility for my horrible mistake. Just want to get some guidance before I approaching the authorities.

Thanks in advance.
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
This is tough ... I'm in CA and off of the top of my head I'd say that it falls under "report it". You were outside and they were inside. You were inaccessible to them for that time. I can't tell you that it won't be a big deal because honestly I don't know however I do know that if this does need to be reported and you don't and one of your clients calls it in then licensing will have a field day with you for not only it happening but for not reporting it.
I agree with MV. I am not so sure this is reportable.

IF anyone was in danger you obviously would have "seen" it and would have taken steps to get in the house in anyway you could but since that wasn't the issue, I don't feel like this is something reportable for licensing.

Yes! to informing parents but not necessarily citation worthy for licensing.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:30 PM
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Original poster here. Thank you so much. I went ahead and reported it anyways. The analyst said that it was indeed reportable, but that it probably wouldn't be a big deal. In any case, there will be an investigation and a deficiency report will be filed on my public record. Oh well. At least I did the right thing.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Original poster here. Thank you so much. I went ahead and reported it anyways. The analyst said that it was indeed reportable, but that it probably wouldn't be a big deal. In any case, there will be an investigation and a deficiency report will be filed on my public record. Oh well. At least I did the right thing.

Thanks again!
I never know for sure (about self-reporting) unless its actually written in the regs. What one person views as "serious" isn't a big deal to someone else.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:19 AM
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I learned a lot from my ordeal and even though my situation was much more sever than just locking myself out of the house (I had a daycare girl walk out of my home for those that didn't know) I do know that in CA licensing has a huge advantage over providers. If you don't report an incident and a parent reports it then you're in a huge pot of hot water which compounds your situation even if the incident itself isn't severe. A lot of what licensing expects you to report isn't specified in the regulations yet they do however hold trainings both during the initial orientation before they issue you a license and throughout different events and visits etc. where they tell you what's reportable or not and what's reportable is pretty much anything that happens that is not a normal day.

Can you fight it? Absolutely. Here's the problem ...
So let's say that you don't believe that you should have to report an incident because the regulations don't specify your situation so you figure you're safe ... licensing finds out somehow and they come out. You get a violation for the incident and now for not self-reporting. Or let's say something happens and you do self-report even though the situation isn't specified in the regulations, licencing comes out, they issue a violation etc ... either way you ask them for the regulation in writing ... which for this situation specifically (locking yourself out of the house) I know it isn't specified in the regulations ... so now they can't provide the proof but they chalk it up under the Supervision regulation (children have to be supervised at all times) or even as a "Child's Rights" violation (children have the right to be safe). You appeal the violation ... guess who you're appealing to? The Regional Director (the director that oversees your local counties and the boss of the analysts that cover those areas). So about 9 out of 10 times you're going to lose your appeal.

You can appeal that decision too of course but that appeal goes to the Administrative court. Administrative judges mostly handle disputes between other state agencies but they also handle disputes between individuals and agencies. The judge I got for my hearing when I appealed had absolutely no knowledge of or experience with Family Child Care regulations, I was is first case like this. He was a good and fair judge, I'm not knocking him, but when he needed to ask a question about licensing guess who he asked? Licensing (in my case it was either my analyst or the licensing attorney).

Then lets move forward ... you appealed and the judge sided with you ... guess what? Licensing has a special law that allows them to be able to overturn the Administrative Judge's decision and do whatever they want anyway. If licensing was out to revoke your license and the judge sided against their decision they can still take your license anyway and by this time you've already spent a minimum of $5,000 on an attorney to defend yourself.

In my specific case licensing wanted to revoke my license so I appealed and the judge decided against that and gave me one year of probation ... licensing gave me two with a clear offer that I either take it or lose my license. In fact, the licensing attorney contacted my attorney and told him that they had changed the judge's stipulations and that they wanted me to agree to them WITHOUT EVEN GIVING HIM A COPY of what the licensing stipulations were. My attorney did press him and was able to get me a copy of the new requirements of my probation (2 years probation, I have to have sign-in sheets, I can't get another violation in the 2 years probation and some other stuff) but they gave me 3 hours to read it, have it explained to me, sign it, scan it, send it to my attorney and have my attorney send it to the licensing attorney.

So do you see where licensing has an advantage?
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2016, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Original poster here. Thank you so much. I went ahead and reported it anyways. The analyst said that it was indeed reportable, but that it probably wouldn't be a big deal. In any case, there will be an investigation and a deficiency report will be filed on my public record. Oh well. At least I did the right thing.

Thanks again!
What type of violation will it be? A or B?

Just in case you do decide to appeal here is what the regs say about reporting ...

102416.2 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 102416.2
(a) The licensee shall report the following information the Department by telephone or fax within the Department's next business day and during normal working hours (8am to 5pm).
(1) If the applicant or licensee operates a foster family home as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1502(a)(5) or a certified family home as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1506(d).
(2) Any change in household composition including adults moving in or out of the home and anyone
living in the home who reaches his or her 18th birthday.
(b) The licensee shall report to the Department any of the events as specified in Health and Safety Code
Sections 1597.467(b)(1)(A) through (b)(1)(C) that occur during the operation of the family child care
home.
Quote:
(C) Any unusual incident or child absence that threatens the physical or emotional health or safety of any child.
This is where they will probably tack it on as
(1) Medical treatment means treatment by a medical professional, as defined in Section 101152(m).
(2) Any child absence means any instance where a child in care is missing. For example, any child in
care who wanders away from the Family Child Care Home, is lost during an outing, or does not
return from school, shall be reported even if the child is later found safe.
HANDBOOK BEGINS HERE
(3) Health and Safety Code Section 1597.467(b)(1) provides in part:
"A report shall be made to the Department…following the occurrence during the operation of a
family day care home of any of the following events:
(A) Death of any child from any cause.
(B) Any injury to any child that requires medical treatment.
(C) Any unusual incident or child absence that threatens the physical or emotional health or
safety of any child."
HANDBOOK ENDS HERE
CALIFORNIA-DSS-MANUAL-CCL
MANUAL LETTER NO. CCL-06-07 Effective 9/10/06
Page 35.2
Regulations FAMILY CHILD CARE HOMES 102416.2 (Cont.)
102416.2 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Continued) 102416.2
(c) In addition to the events specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 1597.467(b)(1)(A) through
(b)(1)(C), the licensee shall report the following events to the Department:
(1) Any suspected child abuse or neglect, as defined in Penal Code Section 11165.6, of any child in
care, in addition to reporting requirements pursuant to Penal Code Section 11166.
(2) Fires or explosions occurring in or on the premises of the family child care home.
(A) Within 24 hours, the licensee additionally shall report to the local fire authority, or in
areas not having organized fire services, to the State Fire Marshal.
(3) A communicable disease outbreak when determined by the local health authority.
(4) Poisonings.
(d) The licensee shall report to the Department as provided by Health and Safety Code Sections
1597.467(b)(1) and (2).
HANDBOOK BEGINS HERE
(1) Health and Safety Code Section 1597.467(b)(1) provides in part:
"A report shall be made to the department by telephone or fax during the department's normal
business hours before the close of the next working day following the occurrence during the
operation of family day care home of…the…events."
(2) Health and Safety Code Section 1597.467(b)(2) provides:
"In addition to the report required pursuant to paragraph (1), a written report shall be submitted to
the department within seven days following the occurrence of any events specified in
paragraph (1). The report shall contain all of the following information:
(A) Child's name, age, sex and date of admission.
(B) Date and nature of the event.
(C) Attending physician's name and findings and treatment, if any.
(D) Disposition of the case."
HANDBOOK ENDS HERE
CALIFORNIA-DSS-MANUAL-CCL
MANUAL LETTER NO. CCL-06-07 Effective 9/10/06
Page 35.3
102416.2 (Cont.) FAMILY CHILD CARE HOMES Regulations
102416.2 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Continued) 102416.2
(e) The written report shall be either Form LIC 624B (8/06) Unusual Incident/Injury report-Family Child
Care Home, or a letter that includes the following information, in addition to that required by Health and
Safety Code Sections 1597.467(b)(2)(A) through (b)(2)(D):
(1) Child's date of birth.
(2) Child's or parent's primary language, (e.g., English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian).
(3) Time the incident or injury happened.
(4) Date that the parent or authorized representative was notified their child was injured or subjected
to any act of violence.
(5) Description of how the incident or injury happened and name of the child(ren) or adult(s) that may
have been involved as well as any steps taken to prevent the incident or injury from recurring.
(6) Name and telephone number of any physician or other health care provider that examined the
child.
(7) Any agency notified, person contacted, date of the contact, and the telephone or fax number of
that agency or person.
(f) As soon as possible but no later then the same business day, the licensee shall notify a child's parent or
authorized representative regardless of the injuries or acts that affect that child as specified in Health
and Safety Code Section 1597.467(a).
(1) Any injury suffered by a child in care shall be reported to that child's parent or authorized
representative regardless of treatment by a medical professional.
(2) Reportable acts of violence include, but are not limited to, those that occur whenever any child in
care is a victim of, or subjected to witnessing, others' use of great physical force resulting in bodily
harm, or dangerous activity, such as illegal drug use or gunfire.
HANDBOOK BEGINS HERE
(3) Health and Safety Code Section 1597.467(a) provides in part:
"Whenever any licensee…has reasonable cause to believe that a child in his or her care has
suffered any injury or has been subjected to any act of violence while under the licensee's care, the
licensee shall, as soon as possible, report that injury or act of violence to the parent, parents, or
guardian of that child."
HANDBOOK ENDS HERE
CALIFORNIA-DSS-MANUAL-CCL
MANUAL LETTER NO. CCL-06-07 Effective 9/10/06
Page 35.4
Regulations FAMILY CHILD CARE HOMES 102416.2
102416.2 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Continued) 102416.2
(g) In addition to the requirements of Health and Safety Code Section 1597.467(a), no later than the same
business day, the licensee shall notify a child's parent or authorized representative of the events to be
reported to the Department pursuant to Sections 102416.2(b) and (c) that affect that child.
(h) The licensee shall keep a copy of the letter or completed LIC 624B (8/06) (Unusual Incident/Injury
Report - Family Child Care Home) in the child's record for the time period specified in Section
102421(a)(1).
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 1596.81, Health and Safety Code. Reference: Sections.1502, 1506,
1596.72, 1596.73, and 1597.467, Health and Safety Code; Sections 11165.6 and 11166, Penal Code.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2016, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I learned a lot from my ordeal and even though my situation was much more sever than just locking myself out of the house (I had a daycare girl walk out of my home for those that didn't know) I do know that in CA licensing has a huge advantage over providers. If you don't report an incident and a parent reports it then you're in a huge pot of hot water which compounds your situation even if the incident itself isn't severe. A lot of what licensing expects you to report isn't specified in the regulations yet they do however hold trainings both during the initial orientation before they issue you a license and throughout different events and visits etc. where they tell you what's reportable or not and what's reportable is pretty much anything that happens that is not a normal day.

Can you fight it? Absolutely. Here's the problem ...
So let's say that you don't believe that you should have to report an incident because the regulations don't specify your situation so you figure you're safe ... licensing finds out somehow and they come out. You get a violation for the incident and now for not self-reporting. Or let's say something happens and you do self-report even though the situation isn't specified in the regulations, licencing comes out, they issue a violation etc ... either way you ask them for the regulation in writing ... which for this situation specifically (locking yourself out of the house) I know it isn't specified in the regulations ... so now they can't provide the proof but they chalk it up under the Supervision regulation (children have to be supervised at all times) or even as a "Child's Rights" violation (children have the right to be safe). You appeal the violation ... guess who you're appealing to? The Regional Director (the director that oversees your local counties and the boss of the analysts that cover those areas). So about 9 out of 10 times you're going to lose your appeal.

You can appeal that decision too of course but that appeal goes to the Administrative court. Administrative judges mostly handle disputes between other state agencies but they also handle disputes between individuals and agencies. The judge I got for my hearing when I appealed had absolutely no knowledge of or experience with Family Child Care regulations, I was is first case like this. He was a good and fair judge, I'm not knocking him, but when he needed to ask a question about licensing guess who he asked? Licensing (in my case it was either my analyst or the licensing attorney).

Then lets move forward ... you appealed and the judge sided with you ... guess what? Licensing has a special law that allows them to be able to overturn the Administrative Judge's decision and do whatever they want anyway. If licensing was out to revoke your license and the judge sided against their decision they can still take your license anyway and by this time you've already spent a minimum of $5,000 on an attorney to defend yourself.

In my specific case licensing wanted to revoke my license so I appealed and the judge decided against that and gave me one year of probation ... licensing gave me two with a clear offer that I either take it or lose my license. In fact, the licensing attorney contacted my attorney and told him that they had changed the judge's stipulations and that they wanted me to agree to them WITHOUT EVEN GIVING HIM A COPY of what the licensing stipulations were. My attorney did press him and was able to get me a copy of the new requirements of my probation (2 years probation, I have to have sign-in sheets, I can't get another violation in the 2 years probation and some other stuff) but they gave me 3 hours to read it, have it explained to me, sign it, scan it, send it to my attorney and have my attorney send it to the licensing attorney.

So do you see where licensing has an advantage?
Wow! they do have an advantage over you

In my state we can't be cited for not reporting something if there are not written regulations stating when/why we have to report.

My state is under going some big changes in regards to licensing interpreting things in their own ways so right now if it isn't spelled out clearly, we can't be cited.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
In my specific case licensing wanted to revoke my license so I appealed and the judge decided against that and gave me one year of probation ... licensing gave me two with a clear offer that I either take it or lose my license. In fact, the licensing attorney contacted my attorney and told him that they had changed the judge's stipulations and that they wanted me to agree to them WITHOUT EVEN GIVING HIM A COPY of what the licensing stipulations were. My attorney did press him and was able to get me a copy of the new requirements of my probation (2 years probation, I have to have sign-in sheets, I can't get another violation in the 2 years probation and some other stuff) but they gave me 3 hours to read it, have it explained to me, sign it, scan it, send it to my attorney and have my attorney send it to the licensing attorney.
Based on what little I know, I just have to say that I'm in awe of your strength. I'm not sure I could have continued to work in the child care field if I had experienced what it sounds like you have. I hope the 2 years go by quickly and uneventfully for you.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 04-09-2016 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:18 PM
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I kind of did that once (except it was the door going from house to garage). Luckily, one of the toddlers opened it right away from the other side. From then on, I hid a key in the garage and also always carried a house key in my pocket.

I wouldn't have told the parents or reported it. You could see them the whole time, no one was hurt and it was a simple mistake. I would have felt horrible but it wouldn't have even occurred to me to report it. Flame away, don't care.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:49 AM
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I wouldn't have told the parents or reported it. You could see them the whole time, no one was hurt and it was a simple mistake. I would have felt horrible but it wouldn't have even occurred to me to report it. Flame away, don't care.
Exactly what I meant... It wouldn't have even occurred to me to self-report. Life happens in child care. I wouldn't have classified it as anything more than "I am a responsible adult that handled/managed it just fine."

At some point we have to be able to trust ourselves and our ability to make day to day and common sense decisions. If licensing doesn't agree then they'll have to put it in writing .....and continue pushing good quality providers out of business due to being overly governed.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Exactly what I meant... It wouldn't have even occurred to me to self-report. Life happens in child care. I wouldn't have classified it as anything more than "I am a responsible adult that handled/managed it just fine."

At some point we have to be able to trust ourselves and our ability to make day to day and common sense decisions. If licensing doesn't agree then they'll have to put it in writing .....and continue pushing good quality providers out of business due to being overly governed.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
I wouldn't have told the parents or reported it. You could see them the whole time, no one was hurt and it was a simple mistake. I would have felt horrible but it wouldn't have even occurred to me to report it. Flame away, don't care.
I might have told the parents just in case it came up in conversation that night but I wouldn't have thought to self report to licensing. As a parent, I can't imagine reporting my provider for accidentally locking herself out either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Exactly what I meant... It wouldn't have even occurred to me to self-report. Life happens in child care. I wouldn't have classified it as anything more than "I am a responsible adult that handled/managed it just fine."

At some point we have to be able to trust ourselves and our ability to make day to day and common sense decisions. If licensing doesn't agree then they'll have to put it in writing .....and continue pushing good quality providers out of business due to being overly governed.
Amen!
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:04 PM
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I wouldn't have told the parents but if it did come up (and it might) I'd say "Oh yeah, that was exciting. Luckily everything turned out okay. It made me realize that maybe it would be a good idea to keep a key in my pocket at all times while I'm open, just in case." I'd just use a light-hearted type of approach.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
I kind of did that once (except it was the door going from house to garage). Luckily, one of the toddlers opened it right away from the other side. From then on, I hid a key in the garage and also always carried a house key in my pocket.

I wouldn't have told the parents or reported it. You could see them the whole time, no one was hurt and it was a simple mistake. I would have felt horrible but it wouldn't have even occurred to me to report it. Flame away, don't care.
This.

Quote:
Exactly what I meant... It wouldn't have even occurred to me to self-report. Life happens in child care. I wouldn't have classified it as anything more than "I am a responsible adult that handled/managed it just fine."

At some point we have to be able to trust ourselves and our ability to make day to day and common sense decisions. If licensing doesn't agree then they'll have to put it in writing .....and continue pushing good quality providers out of business due to being overly governed.
And this.

Several years ago I was loading kids into the car to do the preschool run. I had kids lined up by the door so I could supervise while I loaded in one at a time. A 3 yo decided to shut and lock the door to the garage while I was buckling another child. I went out the garage door to the front door, unlocked it and went in and gave dcg the business.
Problem solved and no tattling to licensing or parents necessary.
Either trust me to do my job or not. Frankly this self reporting business is nuts. I've never worked another professional job where I was expected to tattle on myself every time I made a mistake. I was treated as the professional I am and expected to deal with and learn from it.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:38 AM
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For what it's worth, I personally wouldn't have told anybody about it. Licensing already controls my life, no reason to give them even more ammo. More ammo, more rules.

NEW LICENSING RULE : Providers are strictly prohibited from ever leaving the house, ever. Even on weekends or evenings. Providers may never go outside. This is to ensure that children are never locked in the house. If a fire or other emergency happens inside the home, the provider may usher the children outside but the provider must remain inside the house forever.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:18 AM
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Honestly I would not have reported to licensing, but I wonder how old the kids are. Now to answer whether or not I would have told the parents and I'll be perfectly honest here, it would depend on their age. If they were old enough to bring this up in conversation I would tell them because a childs story can get pretty big, but if they were young enough where they didn't, I wouldn't say a thing. You had your eye on them the entire time and like BC said, if something bad happened, you would have found a way inside your house immediately..

So did you also tell your parents and if you did, what was their reaction?
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:30 AM
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This.



And this.

Several years ago I was loading kids into the car to do the preschool run. I had kids lined up by the door so I could supervise while I loaded in one at a time. A 3 yo decided to shut and lock the door to the garage while I was buckling another child. I went out the garage door to the front door, unlocked it and went in and gave dcg the business.
Problem solved and no tattling to licensing or parents necessary.
Either trust me to do my job or not. Frankly this self reporting business is nuts. I've never worked another professional job where I was expected to tattle on myself every time I made a mistake. I was treated as the professional I am and expected to deal with and learn from it.


Exactly!
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