Now that the kids are back in school, I want to go over some important information that each parent must be aware of when choosing the right daycare for their child. Just know that this list is not exclusive. This is meant to provide some food for thought as you select the safest place for your child to spend time while you focus on providing for your family.
Why Do We Take Our Kids To Daycare?
There are many reasons why we parents take our children to daycare. Daycare facilities are designed to allow the parents the luxury of attending to business matters that could not be possible with their child in attendance. Daycare is acting as the "Godparents" of the child and are partners with the parents to allow them to move around more independently. At one time or another, parents will need the assistance of a daycare center or home-operated daycare. Below, look at our checkpoints and follow the advice of our specialized attorney.
Does The Daycare Carry Insurance?
The first thing that I want you to look at when you go and evaluate a daycare facility or daycare provider is if the said daycare facility carries insurance? This is the Holy Grail of 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, you want to know about insurance. 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.
If they don't have insurance and something happens to your kid, you may be left without an option for recovery. This will also let you know whether the facility is dedicated to protecting your kids or not as insurance will require certain safety features to be present. If they don't have insurance, they typically are cutting corners and putting profits over safety. If you encounter a daycare as such, simply run for the exits.
Does The Daycare Operate Through Security Cameras Or Live Feed Only?
The second thing I want you to pay attention to is security cameras. Security cameras are different than just live feed cameras. Live feed just means that somebody has to be watching as things happen on any of the cameras. However, an actual security camera means that the video is recorded for a certain amount of time, whether it's 24 hours, 48 hours, or up to a week usually. This video footage can be helpful because if an incident occurs, they can go and pull all feeds that would have shown that incident or any of the actions leading up to it. This is also important because it provides accountability to train, hire, and fire different daycare staff members that are not living up to the code.
This allows for proper supervision and grants us the clarity in knowing what happened to your child, how it happened, when it happened, and where it happened. This is not just for accountability, but it is also for the maintenance of the equipment. We want to make sure that these video cameras are working properly and that they're being evaluated regularly and are being watched.
Who Is Working At The Daycare And Are They Qualified To Work At A Daycare?
The third thing that we all need to be aware of and look out for is the hiring process. What are the qualifications of the employees at the daycare facility that they're hiring? Who are they hiring? Are they hiring teenagers? Are they hiring students from college? Or are they hiring young adults or elder adults?
We want to make sure that the people that are watching over your kids are physically able to keep up with the demands and that they are mentally alert. We need to analyze their traits and look to see if this is a passion or simply just a second job. Knowing the hiring process is critical and you want to ask them about the qualifications/screening process that the staff goes through. You want to know these things so that you have peace of mind, and that you are doing all you can to secure your child's safety. When you are at work, you want to make sure that you are leaving your child in the hands of someone that values child life and that their integrity is in great standings. These are the places and qualities you must look for to guarantee the best results.
Running a background check I must add is extremely essential in your decision so that you avoid those instances where child molesters and predators are hired and paid to bring harm to your children while at daycare. Finally, CPR... You want to always make sure that the employees are trained in this area and know the basics of survival CPR. These things can easily be overlooked and most parents do not realize the importance of asking the RIGHT questions.
What Is Their Ratio Of Kids To Workers At The Daycare?
The last thing that we're all aware of is the ratio. The ratio of daycare employees to the actual kids. This varies in the state of Texas according to the age of the children that are being watched. Make sure that when you evaluate a daycare facility, you pay attention to whether they have groups for the different age ranges of kids and what ratios they allow. Not only what the law says is a minimum or a maximum for an employee. You want to make sure that when your children are being watched, they're being watched by someone that can handle the full amount of kids that are watching them.
Let me give you an example. For all of you that are parents, watching two to three kids play at once is difficult enough. It can be very hectic. Now imagine multiplying that number eight, nine, or even fifteen to as many as twenty-three at once!! Almost insane to imagine I know, but this is the case of what is going on in the majority of these daycare programs throughout Texas. This is where it becomes unsafe and this is where kids get hurt.
What Do You Do When Your Child Is Injured At Daycare?
Now, let me go over what you can do if something does happen. The first thing you need to do if you find out your child had an injury at daycare, is you must immediately report it to the daycare staff. Talk to a manager and request their incident report forms. Even if this is a home daycare facility, you want to make a written incident report. If they're not going to fill one out, then you fill it out on a piece of paper, make a copy and give it to them. This will provide the appropriate documentation. Also, you want to ask for their insurance claim information. Hopefully, you gathered this when you first went to the daycare facility, but if not, no problem ask for it now.
Lastly, you want to ask for any videos the moment you find out about an injury to your child. You want to request that they preserve them and make you a copy. Stay on this. Don't let them wiggle out and get away.
Immediate Medical Attention After A Daycare Injury
You want to make sure that your kid gets immediate medical attention. First, go to the emergency room. The child may not have visible injuries, but the underlying injuries are always going to be there. Whether your child had a broken bone or a concussion, go to the hospital. If your child has pain in any area that you know your child didn't have before they went to daycare that day, go to the hospital. If your child is complaining about something hurting that you were told happened at daycare that day, then make sure to go to the emergency room. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that your child is safe and if something does happen, you have the tools to better equipped you to make the best choices at that point. Getting medical treatment is always the first priority.
We have created a FREE guide on what to do if your child was injured at daycare. You can download it by following the link provided: A Five-Step Guide For Parents Dealing With A Daycare Injury
After The Emergency Room, Now What?
After the emergency room, immediately call your pediatrician and if you don't have one, go and find one or you can call us. You need to get to a pediatrician or your normal primary care physician for your child. Ask them to evaluate them. Get your child in by scheduling an appointment. From there, they will help refer you out to someone that your child needs to go see, maybe a specialist. For example, an orthopedic surgeon for any broken bones or a neurologist for any head injuries may be better educated on the knowledge of a regular practiced doctor.
What Can We Do For Your Daycare Negligence Or Abuse Case?
We hope this information, along with our guides, was helpful for you and your family. If you have any other questions and concerns or feel that you need to speak to an attorney about an injury your child sustained while at daycare, please call us at 214-699-4409. You can also fill out our Contact Us form and we will reach out to you.