Parents choose a child care facility that they believe will provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children. However, parents who read or listen to the news sometimes feel uneasy about leaving a child in your care. Ensuring that your child care facility is secure can give parents the peace of mind they need to entrust you with their children, and it can also help you if you are ever called upon to defend your facility in a legal action.
A secure child care facility begins with an effective access control system to ensure that only authorized individuals are allowed inside. The number of children in your facility, the layout of your building, the number of people you employ, and the property’s exterior features can all be factors in the type of access control system you need. For example, in a large facility, you might prefer to control access to each classroom, but in a small facility, you may prefer to control the access to a single door between the reception area and the hallway leading to the classrooms. If you have a high number of students, you might want to consider integrating your billing with your access system, and facilities of all sizes might choose to use the access control system as a timeclock to make it easier to prepare payrolls for employees.
You may also need to restrict access to certain areas so that unauthorized persons cannot enter. Rooms holding paper files containing the addresses, employers, and other personal information about the families of the children in your care may need to be secured. If you store credit card or personal information on computers, you may need to secure the rooms containing the computers as well as any backup files. In the event of a burglary, the extra security may prevent information about the children’s home addresses, ages, family status, and other sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
In a typical access control system, readers are installed at every restricted access point. Every system lock will be connected to an access control panel, which is usually located away from the access points and behind a locked door. When a reader sends a valid signal to the access control panel, the panel unlocks the appropriate door.
The devices used at the entry point vary. Four popular options are swipe cards, key fobs, wristbands and keypads.
- Swipe cards are one of the earliest types of access devices and are still extremely popular. Most are about the same shape and size as a credit card, but they are sometimes thicker. Swipe cards can be imprinted with the name and photograph of the employee, and they can also contain a barcode to enable them to work with both card readers and barcode scanners. The card is held near or swiped through a reader, which will normally produce an audible beep.
- Key fobs are typically about the size of a half dollar, and their small size makes them comparatively unobtrusive. As the name implies, they can be attached to a keychain, but they can also be attached to a lanyard. Emblazoning a key fob with a photograph or name is impractical due to its small size, but this is not necessarily a drawback for a child care facility.
- Wristbands are a relatively new development that are becoming increasingly popular. Wearing a wristband ensures that the user always has an access device ready, but just like a watch or bracelet, the device does not impede motion or draw attention to itself.
- Keypads may stand alone or be incorporated with another device. For example, a reader can require both a valid swipe card and a keyed code, which can make it ideal for automating payroll. A stand-alone keypad can be an option for areas that must be accessed by many people throughout the day; you might want to require parents to enter a code, for example, to access the reception area.
If you need help to secure your child care facility, contact Low Volt today. Whether you need access control, surveillance systems, or other forms of security technology, you can count on Low Volt for the best solution for your specific needs. You can use the online form or call 702-458-2121 to request a free consultation.