Safety in the Preschool Lab
The safety of the children at Preschool is important to us all. Our goal is to have a fun, enriching and safe environment – where parents feel confident that all possible measures will be used to ensure cooperative Preschool will be a wonderful experience for them and their children.

We are aware that often other family members or caregivers work in the classroom. It is important, for the safety of all our children, that adults who are new to the Co-op environment familiarize themselves with the safety basics before going into the lab. Please click here to download our 2023-2024 Risk Management Safety Training which should be read before working in the classroom. Our current Risk Management Manual from OPEP (Organization for Parenting Education Programs) can be downloaded here: Risk Management Manual

The following is an outline of procedures used in the VMCP.

Arrival & Departure

  • When you arrive at school, the adult in charge and at least one other working parent must be present before you leave your child.
  • When you arrive you must sign in. When you leave, you must sign out.
  • When you are leaving, you need to notify the teacher and escort the children out.
  • At least 2 adults must remain at school until all the children have left. One of these may be the teacher.
  • You will need to complete a child release form to authorize anyone outside the Preschool to take your child from school. Picture ID may be required. Under no circumstances will your child be released without prior notification.

First Aid

  • All teachers and Parenting Instructors hold a valid First Aid / CPR Card.
  • Be sure to know the location of the first aid kit and emergency supplies.
  • If an accident or an injury occurs at the Preschool:
    • Alert a teacher
    • Don’t move anything
    • Be prepared to fill out an accident/injury report that day.
    • In case of a medical emergency, ensure that you know where the phone is, and dial 911.
  • Should a child be transported to a doctor or a hospital, an adult from the Preschool will accompany the child and will stay with them until a parent or designated adult arrives. The parent or the emergency contact must be notified as soon as possible.

General Guidelines for Play and Work at Preschool

  • Teach children and enforce rules about areas that are off limits for children.
  • Keep floors free of spills, toys, paper or other tripping, slipping hazards.
  • No hot beverages in the children’s classroom.
  • If you discover a safety hazard, please remove it from use, and report to the teacher.
  • Walk indoors. Running is not allowed.When using building blocks or other building materials, remember that the structure should go no higher than the shoulder of the shortest child playing in the area.
  • Teachers evaluate the safe limits of numbers of children in each work/play area. Parents enforce this by establishing waiting lists, or encouraging children to play in another area.
  • Remember that children need particularly close supervision when using tools or equipment for cooking, carpentry, gardening, etc.

Climbing Areas

  • Parents will be posted at strategic places to ensure safe use of equipment. This takes particular vigilance on the part of the parents. Your job will be to stay close enough to react quickly, to teach the children to negotiate the equipment successfully and to follow the climbing rules:
    • Keep both hands free – No toys or blankets.
    • Slide feet first.
    • Wear suitable shoes, or bare feet – no socks.
    • Climb in safe clothing – No long dress-up clothes.
    • Be respectful to other climbers – No pushing, shaking etc.
  • When a child is struggling to follow the rules, give one warning then remove the child from the climber, and redirect to another area with words like ‘you may try again when you can use the climber safely.
  • Do no leave your work area unattended. If you need to leave, get a teacher or other parent to replace you.
  • Limit the number of children in this area to an amount which you feel comfortable supervising, or the number that has been set by the teacher (whichever is the smallest number).
  • If you see something that is unsafe or causing a problem, call a teacher.

Toileting & Diaper Changing

  • Use a paper table liner and/or bleach solution on the changing table. Change diapers on the changing table only.
  • Clean the table before and after use.
  • Take the soiled diaper home with you.
  • Parents and children to wash hands after diapering, or using the toilet.
  • If a child needs assistance in the bathroom, a parent must let the teacher know that they will be accompanying that child.


  • Only children enrolled in the program are covered by insurance.
  • Siblings of any age are not covered by insurance and cannot remain on-site except for prearranged events such as evening family Preschool.