Scared childIn 2023, of the nearly 65,000 children served by the nonprofit Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, 66% were victims of sexual abuse, according to the organization’s annual report. Even more shocking, the nonprofit Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that a child in the United States is sexually abused every 9 minutes.

Sadly, our experienced Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm have seen an uptick in families reaching out with sexual abuse allegations against a local daycare center. In fact, we recently filed a lawsuit against a daycare center in Sachse, Texas, for sexual abuse of a child. Children at local daycare centers are vulnerable to these crimes, and in 93% of sexual abuse cases, the victims know their abuser, such as a caregiver or staff member at a daycare center, according to RAINN. In Central Texas, 98% of little ones were abused by someone they knew, per local nonprofit Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE).

Our legal team takes these crimes against children very seriously and wants to raise awareness about daycare sexual abuse, including the vital steps that childcare facilities across Texas should follow to prevent these crimes that have lifelong impacts on survivors and long roads to recovery for them and their families.

What Do Texas Daycare Laws Say About Sexual Abuse Prevention?

Texas daycare laws, also known as minimum standards, outline clear and strict protocols for childcare centers across the state to protect children from injuries, including sexual abuse. Key standards that aim to prevent sexual abuse include:

  • Background Checks: Requiring caregivers to complete thorough background checks before coming within contact of children at the daycare center. These screenings should include conducting criminal background checks, contacting references, and verifying the caregiver’s qualifications such as training requirements and certifications.
  • Caregiver Supervision: Daycare directors and staff properly monitor and oversee all caregivers throughout the day to ensure they are complying with minimum standards that keep little ones safe.
  • Comprehensive Training: Daycare centers in Texas are required to educate and properly train all caregivers and staff about the minimum standards to ensure they know the state’s regulations in order to keep little ones safe. Training should include how to care for children, such as not isolating them or using appropriate interactions, recognizing the signs of sexual abuse, and knowing the proper response protocols including reporting and contacting parents and authorities if sexual abuse is suspected.
  • Promoting a Safe Environment: Daycare centers are charged with creating and maintaining a safe environment for the children under their watch. Fostering this environment extends to transparency and open communication with parents. For example, when an incident involving a child occurs at the center, parents should be promptly notified and provided with an incident report. The center should also provide the state with a report.  
  • Response Plans: If sexual abuse is suspected or disclosed at a Texas daycare center, everyone at the facility, from the director to caregivers, should be aware of the center’s emergency response plan. This includes the proper steps to take: from initial steps to reporting protocols to ensuring the safety of all children at the facility.  

While surveillance cameras at a Texas daycare center are not required, they are helpful to oversee activities in a classroom and can help hold predatory caregivers at local facilities accountable. Cameras can also come in handy and provide transparency for parents when negligent daycare centers attempt to cover up an incident of sexual abuse by providing false information to parents or even the state, or opting not to file an incident report at all.

Our experienced daycare injury lawyers have also created a free guide with more tips, and the red flags parents should look for when seeking a safe daycare center for a child.

How Does Sexual Abuse at Daycare Centers Impact Child Survivors?

Sexual abuse is among the most horrific crimes against children and can impact young survivors for the rest of their life. Coping with the trauma experienced at a daycare center can manifest with a mix of mental health challenges and an increased risk of future health challenges such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders
  • Heart problems
  • Hypertension
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Secret self-harm behaviors
  • Sleep disorders
  • Substance abuse

Sadly, survivors of child sexual abuse are also more likely to commit suicide. A medical study published in January 2023 found an increased suicide prevalence in sexual abuse victims by as much as 150% compared to peers who were not victimized by a predator.

What Are Common Signs of Child Sexual Abuse Incidents at Texas Daycare Centers?

Some warning signs that indicate your child may be a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a caregiver or staff member at a daycare center in Texas include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Behavior changes such as depression or mood swings 
  • Change in sleep patterns such as reoccurring nightmares or night terrors
  • Diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease or urinary tract infection
  • Exhibiting fearful behaviors such as acting out on the way to the daycare center or running away
  • Genital pain or bleeding
  • Sexual behavior or language that is inappropriate for your child’s age

This video created by our experienced daycare injury lawyers has more information about signs that could indicate your child is being sexually abused at a local daycare center.

How Can I Hold a Texas Daycare Center Accountable for Victimizing My Child?  

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to seeking justice if your child was a victim of sexual abuse at a daycare center anywhere in Texas. We are ready to listen and fight for your family, help your child heal, and move forward. Our legal team at The Button Law Firm is recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Get a free case evaluation by calling us at 214-699-4409, emailing us at [email protected], or filling out a contact form.

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