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Gate Dilemma!

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  • Gate Dilemma!

    I'm having a licensing issue and need some ideas. I'm 66 now and not sure how much longer I'll be doing my daycare, but need to keep going as long as I can. I've been doing my daycare since 1992, and I sure never understood this to be a rule here. I'm in Indiana. The licensing consultant was here about 2 months ago. Last year she couldn't come physically so we did it over the phone. She told me 2 biggies: that since I had for the summer 3 kids 8 and up that ALL things labeled "Keep Out of the Reach of Children" have to be locked up since technically they could get to anything out the reach of little kids. So I had to reshuffle nearly all my cabinets, have a guy put locks on 2 bathroom cabinets, a locking knob on the hall closet and I'll have to have handles put on all my kitchen cabinets so I can use cable locks on the ones with the risky stuff.

    The real biggie is the gate. It's at the end of my hallway to keep the kids out of my living room and dining room when I can't be out there to supervise what they're doing. I don't want them playing in the living room. I've had pets in the living room too that I'm keeping them away from. Right now I have a 3 level critter nation cage with a rat at the bottom that is sweet but thinks anything coming through the bars is a treat and she GRABS! On top are my sugar gliders....sleeping during the day. The cage next to that is 2 budgies. I don't want the kids out there unsupervised with them. And the dining area also has the art/drawing supplies and I don't want them getting into that stuff if I'm not there. Meaning the younger kiddos.

    The front door is about 12 feet from the hallway. The gate is a metal Cardinal gate and the best one I've had. It has 2 little toggles that you can push down on with one hand then lift the gate so the peg comes out of the hole attached to the wall to open it. Closing it is just lifting it then dropping the peg in the hole. I've had toddlers figure it out but adults don't get it!! The rule in question apparently comes from the state fire marshal and basically says nothing can block the fire escape exits that requires "special knowledge" to move. So the consultant deemed that gate as requiring special knowledge to open and I'm being told I can remove the gate and put an alarm on the door to keep kids from going out the door, or remove the toggles off the gate so only the peg is holding it in place or try to put a half door in the hallway (which is extra wide so it would have to be custom) and the pets are solely my responsibility! The licensing consultant said I could try putting bells on the gate so I'd know if they opened it, but I'm not sure if I'd hear that if I'm in the bathroom or the kitchen. And how would I keep the kids from playing with the bells all the time???? I've looked at alarms to put on the gate, but it would have to be something I could turn on and off because I sure don't want to have to deal with that all the time.

    Anyone else have to do this and any suggestions???

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum!


    • #3
      My licensing regulations are similar and have only gotten tougher since then. Now we have to be within sight and sound at all times and seated at the same table within arms reach at all meal times. They will continue until you reach that level, "children shall be supervised at all times" as that is the goal. Also. every room used for children must meet classroom rules and nothing that says keep out of reach of children, to include power cords of any kind (lamps, etc.), can be in there. Tall furniture must be mounted to the wall as well.

      Is there another exit that can be used as your entry and exit way? One that will not require you removing your gate? I have gates, too, but they do not keep kids from getting out as we go out another door. If not, do you have a spare bedroom that the pets can be relocated to? Small birds and sugar gliders are definitely not child friendly pets. They may even benefit from the quieter location.


      • #4
        Thanks for the welcome! I'm not new to this forum, but I guess I didn't post anything for a while so I had to put in my info again. Not sure what happened.

        Several years ago here we were told "sight & sound at all times" too until several of us kept asking are we supposed to take them in the bathroom with us????? They decided that wasn't a good idea finally and now it's within sight OR sound at all times. I can't believe you have to sit at the table with them all through a meal! I feel like all the nit-picky rules are to push us out of daycare once they make it hard enough.

        I can't move the cage. It's a Critter Nation cage about 3 ft wide and I have 3 singles stacked; Roxy the rat lives in the bottom single, and the top 2 are one cage with the floor out in between for Bindi & Bunji. It goes to almost the ceiling. My house isn't that big. The only place I have a space for it is where it is. The suggies aren't a problem since they sleep all day. The budgies are in a 3 ft wide flight cage. I've had pets for a long time and this was never an issue before keeping them separated with a gate. If it were possible to get the cage in my bedroom I wouldn't be able to sleep at night since that's when they're awake.

        I DO have another door at the back of the house on the same side as the gate. I had seen that there needs to be 2 escape routes not blocked by anything and thought that back door into the backyard could be one and the window in 1 playroom could be the other. That window is one we could escape from since it's lowest to the ground. But later I saw it has to be 2 doorways to get out not blocked!

        Even if I didn't have the pets out there I'd still like to have some things the kids don't get into. I would just like to know if there's any alarm that would work, or if any kind of bells would work on the gate, but I'm not sure how!


        • Alwaysgreener
          Alwaysgreener commented
          Editing a comment
          This is a new forum with the same name as the old one. That is why you had register again. The owner opened this one earlier this year. The old one is still available just not active.

      • #5
        The gate that I got for our stairs (in 2006) came with an alarm that was so piercingly loud that we removed it. We could turn off the alarm when needed but when it was on it would go off when ever the gate was opened. Alarm like that may startle the child from entering.

        Another is a driveway alarm from harbor freight website, you could place the sensor in the doorway into the room and carry the receiver with you or hang it in the kitchen/bathroom. The sound is loud enough to hear through out my house. I used on at my steps to hear when parents were approaching my door.

        Or a window alarm from the dollar store, the hang on the gate. It has a on off switch.