Plenty of families rely on daycare centers to take care of their children while they are at work. Some employers might even offer daycare services on the premises. While this might sound like a godsend to busy families, parents should be cautious before signing up their youngsters. Our Texas daycare injury lawyer explains more.
What Constitutes a Small Employer-Based Childcare Operation in Texas?
According to Texas Health and Human Services, a small employer-based childcare operation meets the following criteria:
- It is located on the employer’s grounds.
- The business employs less than 100 full-time employees.
- The childcare center provides supervision for up to a dozen children of employees, serving only those who are under the age of 14.
There is no doubt that the convenience factor of having your children on the premises with you during the workday is appealing. But there is a caveat that should be concerning to parents: These childcare centers have no minimum standards, and they are not routinely inspected—unless there is a report that alleges abuse or neglect.
What Should You Find Out Before Enrolling Your Child?
Just as parents should vet any daycare facility, they should do their research before signing their children up for employer-based childcare. Here are some steps to take:
- Drop by the center and observe the interaction between staff and children. Are the ratios of staff-to-children appropriate? Are they engaged with the children—or scrolling on their cell phones? Do the children look happy? Is the facility clean and tidy?
- Talk to other parents who leave their children at the center. Ask how they feel about the care their child receives. Do their children seem happy there? Are there any red flags you should be aware of?
- Find out about the staff and what the training and screening process looks like. Do they have first aid and CPR training?
- Learn what resources are provided. Ask about age-appropriate toys and activities as well as the types of meals and snacks that are provided.
You should also talk to the administrators about their discipline policy, as well as how they communicate with parents.
What Should You Do If Your Child Is Hurt?
Daycare injuries happen, and facilities may be held liable if it is determined that the injury happened because of abuse or neglect. Some of the more common daycare injuries include:
- Choking on a small toy or another object
- Accidental poisoning
- Burns from unsafe electronics or exposed electrical outlets
- Broken bones from falls
- Bruising or other injuries from daycare workers
Be sure to get immediate medical attention after your child is injured, even if you don’t think the injury is serious. Young children often cannot articulate their pain or explain what happened. It’s also important to take your child to a physician to create a paper trail that will be essential if you end up pursuing a lawsuit.
Why Should You Contact an Attorney?
In addition to reporting the incident to your employer, you should also contact an experienced daycare injury attorney. Even though the small employer-based daycare isn’t subject to state regulations, they still have a duty to provide your child with a reasonable standard of care. Even if you signed a liability waiver before enrollment, the daycare could still be held liable.