Friday, November 4, 2005

Thieves Target Parents at Child Care Centers

Here's a story about some robbers who know opportunity when they see it. They target busy parents and it only takes a minute for it to happen.

If you work in a child care center or have a family child care setting, you've probably seen it a million times. Parents come to drop off or pick up their kids and, expecting to be inside for just a moment, they leave the keys in the car, sometimes with the car still running.

It happens, too, when parents of babies or multiple children have backpacks, diaper bags, show-and-tell items, car seats or baby carriers, bags of diapers... It's a lot to deal with in a busy parking lot when they're possibly already late for work.

I know some centers have morning and afternoon staff that are dedicated to helping parents get in and out at these times, and wouldn't we all be so lucky if we could afford to staff our facilities like this? A possibility might be to instruct staff, if the ratios are right and there are extra hands around, to help out in this way.

The more realistic option would be to print the above article out and distribute it to parents with your monthly or weekly newsletter with some guidelines on how to avoid this. Maybe hold a parent education night and invite your police officers to talk about this danger.

You might think your center is in a low-crime area or that you're not at risk for this, but that's exactly what criminals are hoping. This type of theft happens more often than you'd think.

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