Daycare Centers: Do All Require PALS / BLS? RBarnes MD

Child CPR Training

Daycare Centers: Do All Require PALS / BLS? RBarnes MD

Making sure our kids are safe, happy, and healthy is something that any parent would want. In
the world today, many households require a dual income. This mandates that children have
proper care and oversight while both parents are working. Whether this be at home with a
caregiver, or in a daycare center, we want our children to have the best care possible. In
addition to location, cost, reputation, and curriculum, how a daycare center handles medical
emergencies is certainly a very important factor to consider.

Medical Training

What medical training do daycare personnel have? What medical training is required from
daycare center staff? Here are some common medical training components that daycare center
staff may be required or encouraged to have:

  1. First Aid and CPR Certification: Staff members should be trained in basic first
    aid and CPR to respond effectively in case of injuries or emergencies.
  2. Medication Administration Training: If the daycare center allows staff to
    administer medication to children, they may be required to undergo training on
    proper medication administration procedures.
  3. Health and Safety Training: This may include training on recognizing signs of
    illness, maintaining a clean and safe environment, and understanding basic
    health and hygiene practices.
  4. Emergency Response Training: Staff should be familiar with emergency
    response procedures, including evacuation plans and how to handle situations
    such as severe weather, fire, or other emergencies.
  5. Communicable Disease Training: Training on recognizing and preventing the
    spread of communicable diseases may be required to help maintain a healthy
    environment for the children.

It’s important for daycare centers to comply with state and local regulations regarding staff
training, and many centers also take additional steps to ensure the well-being of the children in
their care. The basic requirement in most states is that someone in the daycare center must be
certified in BLS while children are on premises. This is not synonymous with PALS, but they
should know how to perform basic CPR and connect an AED. I have encountered some in
Florida that do require that ALL employees take PALS. This may not be the same from state to
state, as some states have more / less stringent requirements. These are all valid questions to
ask when touring a daycare center that you are considering for your child. Some facilities may
even have a Registered Nurse on staff full time, but this seems to be more of the exception,
rather than the rule.

Non-medical Factors to Consider
There are several other factors (other than PALS / BLS) to consider when choosing a daycare

  1. Licensing and Regulations:
    ● Compliance with local, state, and national regulations is crucial. This includes
    safety standards, staff-to-child ratios, and health requirements.
  2. Staffing:
    ● Adequate and qualified staff is essential. Background checks, training in child
    CPR and first aid, as well as ongoing professional development, are often
  3. Facility Safety:
    ● Ensuring a safe environment is a priority. This includes childproofing, regular
    safety inspections, and emergency preparedness.
  4. Health and Nutrition:
    ● Meeting nutritional guidelines and providing a balanced meal plan is typically
    required. Health records for each child, including immunizations, may also be
  5. Curriculum and Activities:
    ● Offering age-appropriate learning activities and a well-rounded curriculum is
    important for child development. This might include playtime, educational
    activities, and outdoor play.
  6. Parental Involvement:
    ● Many daycare centers encourage or require parental involvement. This can
    include regular updates, parent-teacher meetings, and opportunities for parents
    to participate in activities.
  7. Record Keeping:
    ● Maintaining accurate records, such as attendance, incident reports, and
    developmental milestones, is often a requirement.
  8. Insurance:
    ● Adequate liability insurance is crucial to protect both the daycare center and the
    families it serves.
  9. Transportation (if applicable):
    ● If transportation is provided, adhering to safety regulations, proper licensing, and
    regular vehicle maintenance are necessary.
  10. Staff-to-Child Ratio:
    ● Ensuring an appropriate staff-to-child ratio is often mandated to ensure proper
    supervision and individualized attention.

The choice of a daycare center for your child requires careful and deliberate research in order to
make the best possible choice. There is wide variability in regard to medical training at each,
but most require at least BLS. There may also be different requirements based on what state
you are in. In addition to medical certifications, there are several non-medical factors to consider
such as insurance, parental involvement, safety, and licensing. The choice of this for our
children requires careful education and research.