As a mother of two kiddos who are very close together in age — one of whom is nicknamed Houdini — I completely understand being concerned about your child’s security while enjoying Itty Bitty City. My staff and I are always vigilant and make every effort to keep track of which children belong with which adults. In addition, we strictly enforce our policy that an adult may not enter Itty Bitty City without a child. All emergency exit doors have audible alarms on them and our security cameras record every possible exit we have. However, as a business owner, my insurance company and lawyer will not permit us to take on the full responsibility for keeping kids corralled. It is too great a liability.
As we researched security measures to determine best practices for Itty Bitty City, all manner of ideas were considered and pros and cons weighed. In the end, we felt systems other businesses employ: hand stamping, locked gates, etc., all had histories of failing and causing unnecessary distress for parents. Additionally, these measures may cause a false sense of security, leaving some parents to be less than attentive. We believe a child’s first and best line of defense is their parents and/or guardians, and we are committed to fostering that belief.
From an educational perspective, we believe parents and guardians are also a child’s first and best teacher. Our mission at Itty Bitty City is to provide a safe educational place for children and their parents to imagine, play, and learn. If we locked down our entrance and exit, we feel we would be more likely to see parents disengage from their children and retreat to a bench or stool rather than interacting and becoming part of their child’s learning experience. It is our hope that not only will children learn and grow in their play at Itty Bitty City, but also that their parents will learn about how their child learns and actively enjoy being a part of that beautiful process.
Ultimately, we are doing our best to exceed the safety levels that you would have at a typical public area, but full responsibility for interacting with and watching over a child falls to the parent or guardian that brings them to our Center, just as it would if they went to the park, or a museum, or the zoo. It is with these safety and educational goals in mind that we have implemented the policies and practices that we have in place. So whether kids are building a new invention, putting on a stage performance, creating art, or role playing as an active member of the community in our village, they are playing and learning with their parents in a safe and educational environment.