Now that it's back to school time, I want to go over some important information that each parent needs to be aware of when choosing the right daycare for their child. Just know that this list is not exclusive. It is meant to provide some food for thought as you select the safest place for your child to spend time while you cannot watch them.
Why Do You Take Your Kids To Daycare?
Some parents work. Some have to go out of town. Some are single parents. All parents will need some sort of daycare or babysitter at some point. This article is all about daycare facilities and home operated daycare. Trusting a daycare facility is hard to do, but knowing what is important makes it easier to do.
Do They Carry Insurance?
The first thing that I want you to look at when you go and evaluate a daycare facility or daycare provider is do they have insurance? Meaning is your kid covered in case something does happen. Whether it is a daycare facility or a home operated daycare facility, you want to know about insurance. A home operated facility means that somebody or a group of people that operate out of an apartment or their own house usually with fewer children. However, be aware that this also means they usually have a higher risk of not having insurance.
If they don't have insurance and something happens to your kid, you may be left without an option for a 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.
Security Cameras Or Live Feeds Only?
The second thing I want you to pay attention to is security cameras. Security cameras are different than live feed cameras. Live feed just means that somebody has to be watching as stuff happens on any one 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, to fire, and to hire different daycare staff.
It allows for proper supervision. That way we know what happened to your child, how it happened, when it happened, and where it happened. This is not just for accountability, but it's also for the maintenance of the equipment. We want to make sure that these video cameras are working properly, that they're being evaluated regularly and that they're being watched.
Who Is Working And Are They Qualified?
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 in college? Are they hiring grown young adults or elder adults?
Are the people that are watching over your kids physically able to keep up with the demands? Are they mentally alert or is this merely a second job? How do they hire? What sort of qualification screening process do they have to go through? You want to know these things. It's easy to be out of sight out of mind when everything is going fine. When you're at work, you want to make sure that somebody that cares about your kid and cares about the safety of your kid is watching them, not just taking your money and giving it to just anybody.
For example, running a background check is essential. In some cases, we have seen child molestors and predators get hired to work at a daycare center. You will also want to know if the employee is trained in CPR. Should something happen to your kid when you are not there, you want to make sure that those in charge of watching them know basic survival CPR.
What Is Their Ratio Of Kids To Workers?
The last thing that we're all aware of is the ratio. The ratio of daycare employees to actual kids. This varies in the state of Texas according to the age of the kids 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 just what the law says is a minimum or a maximum for an employee. You want to make sure that when your kids are being watched, they're being watched by somebody 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's hectic. Now imagine multiplying that and watching eight or nine or 15 or 23 kids at the same time. Now, this is where danger happens. This is where it becomes unsafe. This is where kids get hurt.
What Do You Do When Something Happens?
Now, let me go over what to do when something does happen. The first thing you need to do when you find out your kid had an injury at daycare, you need to 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 for 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.
Then, 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
You want to make sure that your kid gets immediate medical attention. First, go to the emergency room. The kids may not have visible injuries, but the underlying injuries are always going to be there. Whether your kid had a broken bone or a concussion, go to the hospital. If you kid has pain in any area that you know your kid didn't have before he went there that day, go to the hospital. If your daughter 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 kids are safe and if something does happen, you have the tools of what to do at that point. Getting medical treatment is the first priority.
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 kids in by scheduling an appointment. From there, they will help refer you out to anywhere that your kid needs to go for specialties. For example, an orthopedic surgeon for any broken bones or a neurologist for any head injuries.
What Can We Do For You?
Each piece of this guide is vitally important. It is just the start of the claim process but it's important to get it right to preserve the evidence and to make sure your child gets back on the track to a full recovery. At the end of the day, we're here for you to help walk you through this process.