A swingset at a daycareChoosing the right daycare for your child can be a challenge. As experienced daycare injury lawyers, we have learned so much about signs of bad daycares in Texas. With that knowledge, we want to help parents find the best and safest daycare for their children. Learn more about what questions to ask when looking for the right daycare for your child. 

The Importance of a Safe Daycare

Daycares are often essential for most families nowadays. As parents work to provide for their families, they must also find childcare to ensure their children are properly being cared for. It's an important part of everyday life for many Texas families, and that's why our team works to ensure parents have the tools to help know what to ask to vet a daycare properly. 

1. Does the Daycare Carry Insurance?

Always make sure the daycares you look at carry insurance. This is one of the most important things about knowing the type of situation you are putting your child in. You want to know that the daycare center took the time to get coverage in the event that something does go wrong with a child. Whether it is a daycare facility or a home-operated daycare facility, be sure you know their insurance is up-to-date and valid.  A home-operated daycare facility is an individual or a collected group of people that operate out of an apartment or house usually with fewer children. You want to be aware of these daycare programs and make sure that they too have the proper insurance coverage. 

When evaluating daycare facilities, it's crucial to gauge their commitment to child safety. Reputable centers prioritize safeguarding your children, often evidenced by meeting insurance requirements that necessitate specific safety standards. Conversely, those without insurance may prioritize profit over safety, potentially cutting corners. Encountering such a daycare should raise red flags, prompting swift departure. Without insurance, in the unfortunate event of an incident involving your child, avenues for recourse may be severely limited.

2. Does the Daycare Operate Through Security Cameras or Live Feed Only?

There's a distinction between live-feed cameras and true security cameras. Live-feed cameras require constant monitoring for real-time viewing of events. On the other hand, authentic security cameras record video footage for a specified duration, typically ranging from 24 to 48 hours, sometimes extending up to a week. This recorded footage proves invaluable in the event of an incident, allowing authorities to retrieve relevant feeds capturing the incident or any precursor actions. Moreover, it serves as a vital tool for maintaining accountability within daycare staff, enabling training, hiring, and, if necessary, termination of individuals not adhering to established standards.

This allows thorough supervision, providing us with clear insight into the details surrounding any incident involving your child: what transpired, how it unfolded, when it occurred, and where it took place. Beyond mere accountability, it serves the essential purpose of equipment maintenance. It's imperative to ensure the proper functioning of these video cameras through regular evaluation and attentive monitoring.

3. Who Is Working at the Daycare, and Are They Qualified to Work at a Daycare?

The hiring process is a pivotal aspect to scrutinize when selecting a daycare facility. It's essential to inquire about the qualifications and experience of the staff being recruited. Are they capable of meeting the physical demands of supervising children while remaining mentally alert? Evaluating their traits can reveal whether childcare is a passion or merely a job. Understanding the hiring process provides peace of mind, ensuring your child's safety. You'll want to inquire about the screening and qualification criteria to ascertain the integrity and competence of the caregivers entrusted with your child. Entrusting your child to individuals who prioritize their well-being and uphold high standards of integrity is paramount. These factors and attributes are crucial in ensuring the optimal care and security of your child.

Performing thorough background checks is imperative in your decision-making process to prevent the hiring of individuals with a history of child molestation or predatory behavior, safeguarding your children while they are at daycare. Additionally, ensuring that all employees are trained in CPR is crucial. Their proficiency in basic life-saving CPR techniques can be paramount in emergencies. These crucial aspects are often overlooked, highlighting the significance of asking the right questions as a parent.

4. What Is the Ratio of Caregivers to Children at the Daycare?

When discussing ratios, we're referring to the crucial balance between caregivers and the number of children under their supervision. In Texas, this ratio varies, depending on the ages of the children in care. When evaluating daycare facilities, it's essential to consider whether they organize children into age-appropriate groups and adhere to the recommended ratios.

It's not just about meeting legal requirements; it's about ensuring that your children receive the attention and care they deserve. Imagine the challenge of overseeing the play of two or three children—it's already demanding for most parents. Now, picture that responsibility multiplied to include eight, nine, or even fifteen to twenty-three children at once. This level of overcrowding can compromise safety and increase the risk of accidents, which is why understanding and monitoring caregiver-to-child ratios is paramount in choosing the right daycare for your children.

5. What Does the Daycare Do When a Child is Injured?

If a child sustains an injury at the daycare, it's crucial for the daycare staff to take immediate action. The first step is to see if the child needs emergency medical care - if they do, staff must immediately call 911.

After, the staff should record the incident in incident report form. Even in the case of home daycare facilities, it's essential to document the incident thoroughly.

If the daycare doesn't have incident report forms readily available, the staff should assist the parent in documenting the incident on paper. Copies of this report should then be made and provided to both the daycare and the parent. This documentation is vital for maintaining accurate records and ensuring transparency in the event of an injury.

Furthermore, the daycare staff should provide the parent with information regarding their insurance claim process. This includes details such as the insurance company's contact information and any necessary procedures for filing a claim. It's essential for the daycare to facilitate this process to ensure that the child's medical needs are addressed promptly and appropriately.

Finally, upon being informed of the injury, the daycare staff should promptly review any relevant video footage from surveillance cameras. They should ensure that the footage is preserved and provide copies to the parent if requested. This helps to establish a clear understanding of how the injury occurred and allows for a thorough investigation if necessary.

Overall, it's imperative for daycare staff to respond swiftly and diligently to any incidents involving child injuries. This not only ensures the safety and well-being of the children under their care but also fosters trust and accountability between the daycare and the parents.

6. Should I Seek Immediate Medical Attention After a Daycare Injury?

Ensuring your child receives immediate medical attention is paramount if an injury occurs at daycare. If the daycare hasn't gotten medical attention for your child, head to the emergency room, even if no visible injuries are apparent. Underlying injuries can exist, whether it's a broken bone or a concussion. Any new pain or discomfort experienced by your child should prompt a visit to the hospital, especially if it occurred during daycare hours. Prioritize your child's safety above all else, and seek medical assistance promptly to address any concerns.

To further assist parents navigating this challenging situation, we've developed a comprehensive guide detailing the steps to take if your child is injured at daycare. This resource is available for free download via the link provided: "Five-Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury."

7. We Went to the Emergency Room. Now What?

Following the emergency room visit, it's crucial to contact your pediatrician promptly. If you haven't established one yet, it's imperative to find one without delay. Alternatively, you can reach out to us for guidance. Your child's well-being hinges on receiving care from a pediatrician or your regular primary care physician.

Schedule an appointment with the pediatrician or primary care physician as soon as possible. They will assess your child's condition and may refer you to a specialist if necessary. For instance, if there are concerns about broken bones, they may recommend consulting an orthopedic surgeon. Similarly, for head injuries, a neurologist with specialized expertise may be preferable. Trusting in the expertise of these specialists ensures your child receives the best possible care tailored to their specific needs.

8. What Can We Do for Your Daycare Negligence or Abuse Case?

We hope this information, along with our guides, was helpful to you and your family. If you have any other questions or concerns or feel that you need to speak to a member of our team about an injury your child sustained while at daycare, please call us at 214-699-4409. You can also fill out our contact form, and we will reach out to you. 

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