Many parents rely on before and after school programs to care for their children due to work or other obligations. Some of these programs are available at licensed daycare centers. Others are located on school grounds or at third-party destinations. No matter where they are, they are expected to take all reasonable precautions to help the children in their care remain safe and injury-free.
When your child is injured due to the negligence of a program provider, you have the right to financial compensation for the losses your family has suffered. Learn how a daycare injury attorney can help ensure you receive full compensation and that the program staff are held accountable for their actions.
State Requirements for Before and After School Programs
To maintain proper licensing, all daycare centers and providers must meet specific standards. Texas Health and Human Services oversees this process. There are guidelines specific to:
- Group sizes at the operation
- Classroom teacher to student ratios
- Field trip rules
- Activities and equipment accessible
- Nutrition and food services provided
Additionally, licensed daycare centers must meet specific safety precautions, including providing first aid. This includes protecting against electrical outlet access, removing poisonous plants, keeping children within constant sight, and minimizing risks related to pools, creeks, ponds, fountains, and other water features.
Neglect and Abuse Can Happen at Any Age in These Programs
Any child can be at risk without proper supervision or the presence of dangerous surroundings. Even though a child may be school age, there is still the need for proper supervision. Children of all ages are vulnerable to poor decision-making, risky behavior, or accidents because of curiosity. Often, those accidents can lead to dangerous outcomes.
It is your right as a parent to expect the daycare provider to ensure the space is safe for your child no matter what their age is. More so, if the daycare center states that your child engaged in some activity you know is not safe, the staff may still be responsible for not stopping your child’s behavior in a timely fashion.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect in School-Aged Children
In an after school or before school program, school-aged children may spend time socializing, eating, doing homework, playing, or engaging in other activities. Asking children what happened during their time in these programs is just as important as asking them how their school day was. Some signs that a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect may include the following:
- The child withdraws from friends and family.
- You’ve noticed a significant behavior change, such as expressions of anger, aggression, hyperactivity, or hostility, especially in relation to the after school program.
- Your child frequently doesn’t want to go to the program, often making excuses not to do so that may not seem logical or normal.
- Your child expresses anxiety, unusual fears, sudden loss of self-confidence, or depression.
- You’ve heard concerns from others about specific teachers or aides and their inappropriate actions.
- Your child has marks on their skin without explanations of what occurred.
- Your child has injuries that are unexpected, such as bruised or broken fingers or lacerations.
When a child’s behavior changes significantly or communication breakdowns occur, it's time to consider what may be happening. Parents may wish to ask questions and get access to any incident reports as soon as possible to verify what happened. Your child may not always communicate with you when something happens at their daycare center, especially if the child is older and embarrassed by what occurred. They may even feel as though they could get in trouble.
When to Contact a Daycare Abuse and Negligence Lawyer
When you suspect or have evidence of something happening to your child, take action as soon as possible. Reach out to an attorney with experience in daycare neglect and abuse in Texas to help ensure your child’s voice is heard and your rights are protected.
The Button Law Firm offers comprehensive support if you’re facing injuries like this. Contact our legal team for a free consultation to confidentially discuss your case.