Imagine this: You register your child for an after-school or summer program. You forget about it. You get a reminder email from the said program letting you know that a parent or guardian must pick up your child when the programs ends. You internally freak out as you sit at work, because you know you and your husband (who also works until atleast 5 pm) will not be able to pick up your child from the program. You decide to write an email to the program and ask what you can do.
This, or some version of this, is such a common Classroom Antics parent moment. I know because I answer those emails. Not to worry though, because we operate with the belief that children’s safety is number one, but also with the understanding that a “parent/guardian” does not look the same for all kids…
Safety Is Our Main Priority
When an organization asks that a parent or guardian picks up a child, you can reassure yourself that they are working with your child’s safety in mind. Though we are there to provide an excellent educational experience for them, we also know (because we are parents), that overall, a child must be safe! When we can’t be there as parents, our instinct is to make sure that whatever and wherever it is, our kid is going to be with responsible supervision in a safe environment. Besides conducting background checks for our instructors, making sure all classroom material is age appropriate, ensuring the building is a safe place, and just keeping an eye on all the kids, one of the things we do to enhance student safety is requiring a parent/guardian to sign them out at the end of the program.
Who And What Is A Parent Or Guardian?
We know that no family dynamic is the same, therefore we know that parents and guardians are not always going to be JUST biological parents and legal guardians. We get it (because we are parents and guardians, too!). If you are Mom – and you can’t be there, but your older son, your best friend, your sister, your dad, your child’s friends’ mom, or anyone else on a list of trusted people in your life is going to pick up your child – we understand that you count those people as guardians in this situation. Often times, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, step-parent, family friend or older sibling IS the guardian, and we understand that, too.
Today’s Parenting Culture – Going Back to Our Village Roots
Another significant trend that we are seeing more often, is parents going back to the idea of “it takes a village”. In this ever-connected world of social media and the Internet, parents are relying more on others to help them take care of their children. It is a culture shift we can see in websites, apps and social media groups that are dedicated to parents swapping time or paying other parents and friends in their social circles to watch their children. It can be seen in other areas of our culture, too. Think about all the ride-sharing companies, dog-walking apps, parenting blogs, house-sitting websites, and the forums like Craig’s List and Angie’s List, where we are relying on others to help us make decisions, give advice and do things for each other. This is our culture now, and we understand that at Classroom Antics.
Now What? Just Simple Communication
So we know parent/guardians come in all shapes and sizes, and that as a society, we are leaning on each other for more help in raising our children, but how do we allow someone else to pick up your child and ensure your child’s safety? In the case that your child is going to be picked up by someone other than you (the parent or guardian), you can contact us and let us know who will be picking your child, or let the instructor know directly. We will be sure to notify the instructor and anyone else responsible for making sure they get home safely. You can send an email or give us a call. Introduce yourself or have whoever is picking your kid up introduce themselves to the instructor. Communication is key! If ever there is a change in who will be picking up your child, (we know, life happens!) just reach out to us and we will make sure all responsible people are aware.