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Cell phones in day care

  • 1.  Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-19-2021 06:41 AM
    I would like to get some input on daycare centers policy on personal cell phones in the center. How do you handle employee use of cell phones? are they allowed in the center?

    Bridget Ean
    Toddler teacher
    Kerhonkson NY

  • 2.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-19-2021 09:02 AM

    Every preschool should have a policy that teachers cannot be on their phones while watching the children.

    They should be putting them in a secure place, like a locker or a place that is not in the classroom.

    If the phone is in the classroom they will most likely be on the phone while watching the children which is against licensing because they should have their eyes on the children at all times.


    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor

  • 3.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-20-2021 06:41 AM
    Our teachers use them for work throughout the day so they definitely have them on them.  In fact we expect them to.  We have a staff chat we use to get information to people during school without having to interrupt all classes with the walkie talkies, which we also do have but save for emergencies or when otherwise needed.  Our teachers use their phones to take photos and document learning and explorations.  And they expected to have them in case of an emergency need to use them.
    However, they don't use them for personal communication during school.  They are expected to silence them and to not reply to personal texts or answer personal calls. Occasionally there is an exception when a staff member gets a call that is more urgent.  In this case they step out of the classroom to the hallway to take the call and if needed their colleague requests other staff come to the classroom during that time.
    Our substitute teachers, however, are expected to have their phones put away and not seen or heard the entire time they sub.  They are not in the staff chat app with us and not documenting learning, so there is no reason for them to have a phone on them and we have found this a better and simpler policy with regard to subs.

    Sharon Rosenberg-Scholl
    Temple Israel Early Childhood Center
    Minneapolis MN

  • 4.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-22-2021 12:45 AM
    I think phones are fine as long as they are used responsibly.
    I have had children with diabetes in my class. My director allowed me to keep my phone with me to call parents with questions about blood glucose levels or insulin doses.

    Cheryl Quillman
    Bend OR

  • 5.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-23-2021 07:51 AM
    Our teachers are not allowed to use their phones in the classroom. They shouldn't even be out. They are only allowed to have them on walks or the playground in case of emergencies only. They have ipads for taking pictures and writing notes to families through Tadpoles. They are not allowed to give families their personal numbers so there is no need to contact families with them. They have been caught a few times and I have given out verbal warnings, but I believe it is time to move on to written warnings. I believe that there is a huge safety issue with this and notice the classrooms with the highest rate of incident reports are the ones with the phone issues. If the staff does have a personal issue where they may need to make or receive a call, I have no problem stepping in so they can step out and make the call.

    Rochelle Johnson
    Early Learning Director
    Lanham MD

  • 6.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-23-2021 11:24 AM
    In our area, our licensing analyst would consider using a phone lack of supervision of the children. We provide iPads for documentation, time, and there are clocks around as well. We have classroom phones and walkie talkies for outside. Phones are not needed. Additionally, we do not want to assume liability for phones if they are being used for work.
    Phones are for 15 minute breaks and lunch periods. Our staff know that if a family member needs to reach our staff, they call the center and the message will be given or the call passed if possible.

    Janet McDonald
    Southern California

    Janet McDonald
    Program Specialist
    Family Service Association
    Riverside CA

  • 7.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-20-2021 09:54 AM
    Hello Everyone!,
    I agree with with Melanie about the cell phones in the classroom while guiding children.
    Cell Phones should however be used when the teachers are ready to head out to the playground and or going to a park that is not in the area of the center. That does not mean that the teachers are on the phone but carrying them as a source of back up communication in need of emergency and or to communicate with the director.  Teachers should always be actively involved with the children in their care. How in the world do you have time to be on the phone when there is so much to do when around children! Seriously having an open forum to fully discuss with your teachers so everyone is on the same page.

    Milagros Neu
    Pre-K -K Teacher
    Learning Pods
    Maplewood NJ

  • 8.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-20-2021 10:59 AM
    We allow them and staff are expected to use professionalism and good judgement. I don't collect them because I don't want to be responsible for them. We had a not-a-drill lockdown a few years ago and older staff needed to be able to text their spouses or partners that they were ok, younger ones needed to be able to text their parents. I don't allow them to use them for documentation unless it's via the Remind app or Teaching Strategies Gold because I don't want children's photos on their camera roll. But I think that for many a cell phone is a safety tool and I want to recognize that. I do try to have tools to minimize the need to pull a phone out as much as I can - clocks near the diaper area so they don't have to pull their phone out to check the time, Amazon fire tablets for collecting photos, etc.

    Casey Lalonde
    The Evergreen State College
    Olympia WA

  • 9.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-20-2021 11:26 AM
    I agree that in the majority of situations cell phones should be put away while with children. In my case, I do keep mine with me during class
    time but only for certain reasons:
    1) If we have a child who doesn't show up for school & we haven't heard why, we are required to contact that parent & find out where the child is as a matter of child safety.
    2) I am the center's family advocate so if a family has a crisis and need to contact me, they can.
    3) My husband has cancer so in case he needs to contact me, he is able to.
    4) I do use my phone camera to take pictures of things the children are doing in the classroom at certain times - not always.

    These are the reasons that I have a phone on me, but the children come 1st! So it is only used as necessary.

    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Remsen IA

  • 10.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-20-2021 07:19 AM
    Sharon- we are the same. Ultimately, it is a trust issue and I have found that my staff is fairly good about using phones for designated purposes not private use.  Honestly, documentation is so much simpler with a cell phone :)

    Dr.Pamela McCullough
    Program Director
    Newtown PA

  • 11.  RE: Cell phones in day care

    Posted 08-23-2021 04:50 PM
    Hi Janet,
    I totally agree 👍.
    Thank you for explaining the rules. I am in Oceanside and I think we have the same licencing requirements for the rules of keeping eye on the children at all times, and using preschool phones.

    Melanie Smith
    The Preschool Doctor