Daycare and Deficiencies: The facility was cited for violating standard §746.305 – failing to notify the state licensing division after an occurrence of a situation that placed a child at risk.Toddler Left Alone and Unsupervised

Date of incident: March 7, 2018

Summary of the Report: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission Child-Care Licensing Division conducted an investigation regarding a report of a child who was left unsupervised and wandered from his caregivers.

The toddler started the day in a room with the rest of his group; however, the caregivers did not notice when he wandered away. One of the other caregivers found him alone in a classroom designated for 4-year-old children, playing with a sharpie marker. Reportedly, the caregivers in charge of him had assumed that he wandered off in pursuit of his mother who was a caregiver in charge of a different age group of children. One caregiver believes that the child was found within five to eight minutes of being lost.

The investigator found that the daycare was in violation of the state’s minimum standards and recommended routine monitoring as a solution. Daycares are legally required to notify the state licensing department about incidents that put children at risk – specifically when children are discovered to have wandered off, under standard §746.305.

You can read the entire investigation report here.

How Did The Daycare Lose The Child?

Children tend to wander for a variety of reasons—it could be because something catches their interest or that they follow someone else. Regardless of why, it is important that children are being watched and kept track of. Many times, we see cases of caregivers losing track of children when they are watching too many at one time. Although the state of Texas has set ratios on how many children can be with one caregiver, even the numbers that have been set can be overwhelming. For example, 9 toddlers (ages 18-23 months) can be cared for by one caregiver by the state’s standards. One caregiver for children this age is often not enough—children at this age are curious and rambunctious.

Caregivers should never make assumptions regarding the whereabouts of the children they are supposed to be watching; assumptions can lead to injuries. The state minimum standards require that children be divided up into age groups that are appropriate for them. Instances, where younger children are left alone in an older group’s classroom, pose danger—there may be toys and other items in the room that the child could get hurt with. It’s imperative that childcare providers are following guidelines laid out by the state—they should not be making exceptions.

How Could The Child Have Been Better Supervised?

Had this child’s caregiver taken the proper steps to ensure the safety of this child, like making sure he stayed with his group, his injury could have been prevented. A caregiver should never assume the whereabouts of a child in their care.

Negligence Is Too Common in Daycares

Sadly, many daycares across Texas and across the country have employees who commit this type of negligence. Noticing the signs of negligence in a child’s daycare may not be easy—that’s why we provide information on daycares' lack of supervision.

We’ve seen how common these cases are—daycare workers who don’t do their jobs correctly can cause serious, life-changing injuries to the children in their care. We work hard to prevent these types of injuries from happening—that’s why we hold these daycares accountable for their actions. If you believe your child was harmed in daycare, we have provided the following sources for your reference:

A Five Step Guide for Parents Dealing with A Daycare Injury

Caring for Your Child After a Daycare Injury Can Go Well Beyond a Trip to the Emergency Room

What Do I Do If My Child Was Neglected at Daycare?

What The Button Law Firm is Doing to Stop This

We want parents to know the signs of how things can go wrong, even before they enroll their children in daycare. That’s why we created this 11 step guide on choosing the right daycare for your child. Knowing what to look out for when choosing a daycare can be very important in how your child is treated.

If your child was left alone, wandered away, or was in a room that was not appropriate for his or her age, make sure to report it. The state needs to know when these types of things happen so they can investigate the daycare and make sure they are following the proper procedures.

If you believe your child has been neglected, abused, or mistreated while in daycare in Texas, contact us. Our team works tirelessly to make sure that daycares are providing safe, nurturing spaces for your child to be in. Call us at (214) 699-4409 or email [email protected].

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.