Whether it’s an established karate studio or an in-home piano teacher, there are things we can look for and require to make after school activities safer for our kids.
- If your child is going to someone’s home, find out where the lessons will be taking place, if you are allowed to stay during the visit, and if anyone else is at the home. Ask for references and treat the interview process as you would a babysitter – this person may not be caring for your child, but your child is in their care and you should feel comfortable – and so should your child. If the lessons are taking place in a back room or a basement, if you’re not allowed to stay, if they do have older children or adults in the home – you may want to reconsider and look elsewhere. It should be their job to make you feel confident, not your job to convince yourself that “it’s only for an hour, I’m sure it’ll be fine.” A lot can happen in an hour.
- If it’s a situation such as a tutor or you own a piano for lessons, find out if it’s possible to have a tutor or instructor that comes into your home, rather than having to go to their home.
- If it is an established brick & mortar business, find out how many other children are in the class, how many other instructors/employees are on the premises where the lessons are held, and whether other people can see into the room. Where are the bathrooms? If there are many employees on site – find out what their screening process entail. Ask if they perform background checks and what their code of conduct is for instructor/student interaction.
- If you know other parents of children going to the same place, you can even make it a group effort so that the manager/owner understands that this isn’t just you that cares, but multiple people to be held accountable to.
Sections on this page have been adapted from TheMamaBearEffect.