At the Early Childhood Alliance centers, our number one priority is the safety of every single child. With that in mind we strive to have a thorough plan in place in the event an emergency situation arises, regardless of how unlikely they may be. Just as important is making sure that both staff and parents know what that plan is so that if an emergency situation ever occurs, everyone can remain safe and calm.
How we prepare for emergencies
- Staff are trained on the proper responses to weather emergencies, fires, and other types of emergencies
- Centers are equipped with adequate fire extinguishers, alarms, sprinkler systems, escape routes and accessible exits
- Centers are regularly inspected by both fire marshals and licensing authorities to ensure adherence to all codes and requirements for safety
- Drills are regularly performed to ensure the appropriate response is given to an emergency situation
What is a lockdown?
A lockdown is a precautionary measure in response to an alert from law enforcement that there is a threat in an area near or at the Center. ECA Center staff is prepared to respond quickly in the rare event of a lockdown and will work with law enforcement to keep everyone safe.
During a lockdown, two important procedures are observed to ensure safety.
- Children and staff are prohibited from using outside play areas
- No one is allowed to enter or exit the building until an all-clear is given
How will I know if the Center is on lockdown?
Once a lockdown is in place, our first priority is to ensure the safety of everyone in the Center. Depending on the severity of the lockdown, parents will be notified by text message, email, or paper notice after the all-clear is given.
To get more information surrounding an in-progress lockdown and its current status you can call our Emergency Alert Hotline at 260-579-4443 to hear a recorded message with additional details.
NOTE: DO NOT CALL THE CENTER DURING A LOCKDOWN
If you happen to come to the Center during a lockdown you’ll know that a lockdown is in effect with the presence of a red sign at the front door. If you see this red sign it is highly recommend that you return to your vehicle and vacate the area to remain safe.
What should I do, as a parent, during a lockdown
Avoid calling the Center
During an emergency all staff, including office staff, will be focusing on making sure all of the children in their care are safe and secure. They may not have the time or ability to get to the phones and answering them takes them away from their most important job – – keeping the children safe. If you try to call the Center during a lockdown, do not panic if your call is not answered. Furthermore, do not try to keep calling as this will tie up phone lines that may be needed to reach emergency services.
To find out the current situation and status of a Center during a lockdown you may call our Emergency Alert Hotline at 260-579-4443. During an emergency this line will respond with a pre-recorded message providing you with the necessary information to know what’s going on. It will also indicate when everything is “all clear.”
Refrain from coming to the Center
To ensure the absolute security of every child in our care, during a lockdown, no one will be permitted to enter or leave the facility. Allowing individuals to leave puts them at risk to external threats. Allowing individuals to enter places all of the children and our staff at risk to external threats. External doors will be locked during a lockdown and will remain so until an all-clear has been given by the authorities.
If you come to the Center during a lockdown, you will not be given entry. Furthermore, being in the area during a lockdown could endanger your safety. It is best to stay clear until the all-clear has been given.
If you arrive at the Center unaware of the lockdown a red sign will be placed at the front door. This will serve as the alert that the Center is in lockdown and cannot be entered. It is suggested that if you see placard that you return to your vehicle and leave the area to ensure your safety.