Finding the right daycare is important for any parent, but this can be even more of a challenge for parents of children with physical disabilities. According to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, children with disabilities are abused almost twice as often as typically abled children.
Physical disabilities can range from challenges with large motor skills such as walking and crawling to difficulties with small motor skills such as holding objects or using a pencil. Some kids may have a medical disability that limits their ability to be physically active, such as a congenital heart problem or cystic fibrosis. Other disabilities include deafness or blindness.
Finding the Best Daycare Center for Your Child
When seeking the best daycare option for your child with a physical disability, you should consider the following when you tour the center:
- Does the daycare center have other children with physical disabilities in their care? If they do not, find out if taking care of these children is part of the center’s philosophy. Will the daycare staff embrace the idea of taking care of a child with a physical disability?
- Note the ratio of daycare center teachers to children. In Texas, there should be one staff member for four children who are under the age of 12 months. The ratios change as children get older.
- Are the staff and children smiling and happy and engaging with one another?
- Does the environment seem appropriate for your child? Will your child have access to books and toys?
- Find out how the facility will communicate with parents if challenges arise while your child is under their care.
- Check with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to find out if there have been any licensing violations with the daycare center.
A Daycare Facility's Legal Responsibilities
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that daycare centers try to include children with physical disabilities or other special needs. Parents have a right to request that reasonable accommodations be made for their children. These can include such things as an interpreter or large-print books.
The daycare center must conduct an evaluation of your child to determine whether they can provide adequate care; they cannot simply refuse based on a disability. The only reasons a daycare center can refuse your child is if the accommodation requires a major change, such as having to hire additional staff, or if your child’s presence at the center poses a risk to other kids.
Damages You Might Be Able to Recover
A daycare center has the responsibility to let you know if they believe they cannot provide adequate care to your child. If your child is neglected while in their care, they can be held liable.
If your child suffers an injury because of the daycare’s neglect, you need to speak with an attorney about your rights and those of your child. In addition to filing a complaint with the state, you may hold the facility legally liable for any injuries your child suffered.
Speaking with a daycare injury lawyer can provide advice on the options that might be available with your case. The amount of damages will vary, based on the specifics of the daycare neglect and subsequent injuries to your child. These could include:
- Medical treatment costs that are related to the daycare neglect
- Other economic damages that could include the time you had to take off of work after pulling your child from the daycare center
- Emotional damages your child has suffered
Contact The Button Law Firm
If you believe your child with physical disabilities is the victim of daycare abuse or neglect, The Button Law Firm can help you and your child get the compensation you deserve. Filing a case against the daycare to make them accountable can also help protect other children from having the same experience. Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn more.