Choosing the Right Childcare: Staff Ratios

January 31, 2017

Maintaining staff-to-child ratios is a very important part of a high-quality childcare environment. In fact, the number of children allowed per staff member is regulated. While these ratios vary across states, infant ratios are usually four to five babies per teacher.That number typically increases as the children get older and more independent. Most centers will have at least two teachers per classroom.

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A Little-known Winter Hazard

December 22, 2016

A post from Katrina Luetkebuenger, a West Bend Loss Prevention Representative: There are many risks to consider with winter driving. I didn’t think about this hazard until it almost flew right through my windshield. Last week while driving down the highway, a wintery explosion of snow and ice suddenly interrupted my thoughts. Several pieces of ice broke off the roof of the semi-truck traveling in front of me, causing cinder-block and brick-sized ice missiles to fly through the air at 70 miles per hour toward my minivan! With traffic on either side of me, there was no way to avoid them. Several huge ice chunks slammed into the roof of my car, each with a very loud bang. It sounded like somebody was hitting my car with a bat and instinct caused me to crouch in my seat with each thud. I thought the roof was caving in!

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Video: Child Falls Off Changing Table

November 29, 2016

Recently, a scary video has been making the rounds on the internet. A mother places her child on a changing table in their home. She turns away for a brief second and the child rolls off the table. Thankfully, the child’s brother runs over and miraculously manages to catch the child before he hits the floor. It’s an amazing video, if you haven’t already seen it be sure to check it out. The infant is very fortunate to have such a quick sibling.

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Keeping Pools Safe with Swim Tests

October 31, 2016

Too often here at West Bend we receive frightening near-drowning claims. These claims can result in serious injury and many times the victims are children. A child who can’t swim wanders into the deep end during a pool party. A child who’s supposed to be wearing a lifejacket takes it off and no one notices. A child who can’t swim tells her parents she will be in another area of the Y but instead decides to go swimming with her friend. These dangerous scenarios happen all the time.

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Planning Safe Field Trips

September 30, 2016

As a childcare provider, field trips were both my worst nightmare and one of my favorite activities. The stress and anxiety of planning and keeping track of twelve two-year-olds in an unfamiliar place was daunting; however, seeing how much fun and how exciting it was for the kids made it all worth it in the end. That’s why, year after year, we would plan field trips to different places in our city. As much as I sometimes wanted to pull my hair out, it usually ended up being a super fun day.

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Toddler Wanders Away from Childcare Center

August 26, 2016

Earlier this year, a toddler from a small childcare center in Vermont wandered away from his group during outdoor play. When the child’s parents arrived to pick him up, his teachers realized he had been missing for hours. After a frantic search, he was found in a stream on the property. The child died the next day, leaving behind a devastated family and prosecutors contemplating charges for the childcare providers.

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Severe Storm Knocks Out Power for Days

July 26, 2016

We spend all winter looking forward to long, sunny days. Then finally summer arrives, bringing some beautiful weather. But summer also can bring dangerous storms with flooding, tornadoes, and lightning. Last Thursday in Duluth, Minnesota, a severe thunderstorm rolled through in the early morning hours. Winds were clocked at over 80 mph in some parts of the region. Local TV and radio stations were knocked off the air. Residents awoke to trees and power lines all over the ground. Yesterday it was reported there were still 7000 homes and businesses without power, five long days after the storm. Imagine if this had happened to your organization in the middle of the day. Are you prepared?

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Summer Heartbreak: Hot Cars and Kids

June 28, 2016

Every year, as the weather gets warmer, tragedies involving children and hot vehicles appear in the news. These stories are always so devastating. The fear felt by the child and the extreme guilt by the parent or caregiver is heartbreaking. Just in the last few weeks, there have been several examples from all over the country:

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Camper Loses Her Life in Tragic Zip Line Accident

May 26, 2016

Last year at a summer camp in North Carolina, a 12-year-old girl fell more than 40 feet to her death when a tether attaching her to the camp’s zip line snapped. The camp had dual zip lines and somehow the lines became tangled. Her tether essentially melted from the friction. 

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Choosing the Right Childcare: Understanding State Licensing Reports

April 22, 2016

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, I continue to hear stories about childcare providers abusing or neglecting children all the time. Parents searching for childcare shouldn’t have to worry about their children being hurt. I worked for many years in the childcare industry and have helped my friends investigate childcare centers they were considering for their children. Luckily, here in Wisconsin, all state inspection and licensing reports are available online.

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