Pre-School – Open or Close Door Policy?

Generally, ccs would prefer to have an Open Door policy for parents to visit/call as and when they like but such a policy is usually not feasible due to the below reasons:

  • Shortage of manpower
    • The moment you allow parents to walk in anytime they like, a cc may have to standby a ‘Relationship Manager’ to accompany the visitor as and when they arrived.
  • Security / Privacy:
    • Usually ccs place high alert on men (fathers/uncles/grandfathers/etc) visiting their premises. CCs’ toilets / shower rooms are usually open concept and if these rooms are located near where visitors can pass by, it invades children’s privacy of having their naked bottoms / bodies exposed to strangers innocently.
    • Some men (fathers/uncles/grandfathers/etc) are ‘nice’. They see cute little girls and may carry them or touch their cheeks ‘automatically’. This should be strictly prohibited as those are GIRLS and the risk of molestation though is low, it’s still there. So, men, pls refrain yourself from touching little girls in your child’s school. Those are the precious princesses of others…
    • One of the most important areas of a cc is its kitchen. A kitchen should be completely barred from entrance by non-cc staff. Most CCs keep large tank of water in their kitchen and the risk of someone dropping something toxic into the tank is too much to take. Kitchen is the place for food preparation and if non-staff are allowed to enter, it increases the risk of food poisoning /contamination unnecessarily.
    • Lastly, there is a risk of kidnapping from parents who are going through divorce. Divorce rate is on the rise and it is common for ccs to have to deal with the care of children who are in the process of custody. When the final custody is not out yet, each parent has equal right to visit their child. But the mum may say don’t allow the dad to pick up and the dad will say the same. Usually the cc will call both parents up together to reach a signed agreement as to who has the right to pick up a child. Complications arise if one of the parties signed but don’t follow. He/She may appear in the classroom and take the kid away. Usually the class teacher may know of who can pick up a child who is going through custody processing, but if she is not around and another innocent staff is there to take over the class, the latter is likely to release the child as the child will go “mummy /daddy” and there the child and the parent gone with the legal responsibility lies flat on the cc if anything goes seriously wrong. Releasing a child to an ‘unauthorised’ person unknowingly – a great stress to the one who commits the mistake regardless of whether intentional or unintentionally (but bear in mind that cc staff are human too and sometimes family problems can be very complex). 
  • Disruption to classes
    • Some parents like to visit their children during lesson hours and most teachers hate it coz it disrupts lessons. Imagine you were to tell a story half way to a group of children and a mum walks in and goes “Sweetheart / Darling” to her little one and disrupts the storytelling session of the teacher. A teacher may take about 5 to 10 minutes to bring the attention of most children together but a parents can take only 1 second to disrupt such. During a lesson, a teacher’s full concentration / attention should be on the children and no parent should walk in to visit their kids or talk to the teacher, by doing so is unfair to the rest of the kids.
    • Similarly, all parents should not call the teacher during lesson hours to know more about their kids’ progress in the class (this usually happens to parents who just enrolled their little ones in a centre), unless under extreme emergency case that she has to speak to her urgently). If you are one of those who do so (calling a teacher at 10 am, 11 am, etc), I can safely say that your child is some one also with high anxiety and belongs to the category of “difficult to settle down” type. There is a strong correlation of anxious parents produce anxious kids and parents who are ‘stable’ tend to have kids who can settle down quickly. Many times, there is really nothing wrong with a child but something wrong with his/her parents (passing unnecessary stress/anxiety to their kids). Kan cheong parents breed kan cheong children …

Personally, I don’t welcome visitors during core lesson hours and if parents want to call and speak to the teacher, they should do so during the children’s nap time and after the teacher’s lunch at around 2 – 3 pm (and please limit your conversation to 10 minutes unless necessary). Any update, etc, can be done during the drop off and pick up hours. All have to bear in mind that the teacher is not dealing with you alone, she is dealing with 6 to 15 parents and if all of them demand same kind of attention, little time can be spent on the kids. A teacher’s paramount responsibility is the kids…

So, base on the above, you decide whether you want your child’s cc to have an Open Door or a Close Door Policy…

Forum discussion thread.

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