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Day Care Pick-up Policies Help Protect Children

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CARY — An unattended child left in a day care after hours is a terrifying image to parents who want their children to be safe, wherever they are. Many day care centers do have strict security policies so they know whereallthe children are atalltimes.

Teachers at the Children's Discovery Center in Cary watch closely as parents stream in and take their little ones home. And parents appreciate it.

"I am very worried mother and I trust them 100 percent," says Maria DiMauro.

State child development officials say the drop off and pick up policies at day care programs are essential to child safety. At the Discovery Center, every teacher has an attendance sheet to make sure each child is accounted for.

"When a child comes, they're marked on the roster, if they're absent that day it's marked off," explains Center Director Maria DiMauro. "As a child leaves that day, it's crossed off so the teacher knows which child has left for the day."

The center maintains a file on who is allowed by the parent to pick up their child. And if it is going to be someone else, parents must notify the center in writing.

"They know us and we know them and we know we're pretty active in Alex's schooling here, so we know what's going on," says parent Richard Danchi.

State officials say that kind of parental involvement is vital.

"I would say to parents that they want to be careful. They have to be part and parcel to making sure their children are safe," says Stephanie Fanjul, director of the state Division of Child Development.

The child development office in Raleigh maintains complete files on day care centers, and parents are allowed to go through them.


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