Three-year-old Cara is chasing her friend on the playground. She trips over something and tumbles to the ground. What’s the big deal? Kids fall down all the time. Aside from a few scrapes, they’re usually fine. Well, on this particular day, Cara was wearing flip flops. When she fell, she broke her toe. Yikes! If the provider had a dress code that prohibited open-toed shoes, Cara’s toe would still be intact.
Some people may think enforcing a dress code for kids in a childcare setting is ridiculous, but seasoned childcare professionals know that kids who wear practical clothes to childcare are much better off.
When parents send kids to childcare in clothes that are not weather appropriate, or practical for the kinds activities they engage in, it can cause problems. Establishing a standard of dress for the kids in your care will keep them comfortable and safe. It will also spare you the headache of dealing with a parent who is irate because her child’s expensive new dress is covered in finger paint.
What Should a Dress Code for Children Include?
A dress code for tykes should be reasonable, keeping comfort, safety and practicality in mind. When you write out your dress code, list the types of clothing that are not allowed, and then give a simple explanation as to why these types of clothes are prohibited. When parents understand the reasoning behind the dress code, instead of thinking you’re an unreasonable person, they’ll know you have their kids’ best interest at heart.
You might include the following things in your dress code:
- No open-toed shoes as kids can stump their toes, trip and fall, or drop things on their feet and get injured.
- Suggest parents dress kids in layers on blustery days. Kids spend most of their days indoors in the winter, so they may need to peel off layers because the classroom will be significantly warmer than it is outdoors.
- Suggest parents only send children in clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Between painting, outdoor activities, coloring, and sprinkling glitter, the day in the life of a kid can be pretty messy. If you constantly have to worry about keeping kids clean, you’ll go mad – you have enough to deal with just trying to keep tykes in one piece.
- Suggest to parents that when girls wear dresses and skirts to childcare they may be more comfortable wearing shorts or tights underneath. This way, when they climb, roll, flip, and swing, they don’t have to fuss with keeping their dresses in place.
A dress code for children is not such an insane idea when you really think about it. Requiring parents to dress their kids in practical clothes can prevent injuries, keep children comfortable and keep parents from being upset over expensive, paint-stained clothes.
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