Improper Daycare Disciplines Revealed

I want to talk to you about something that hits close to home for many parents – improper discipline at daycare. It's a concerning issue, and at The Button Law Firm, we've encountered many heartbreaking cases of this. Today, I will highlight the top 5 most common forms of improper discipline we’ve seen at daycares.


Let's start with something seemingly harmless – timeouts. What begins as a timeout can evolve into serious harm. We've seen instances where children were left isolated for extended periods of time as a form of discipline. For example, we’ve represented families where children were:

  • Locked in a bathroom for over 3 hours,
  • left in a dark room for several hours
  • and sent to a pantry cabinet while other kids were eating.

Each of these incidents caused serious and lasting damage to their emotional well-being.

Verbal Abuse at Daycare

The second most common improper discipline we see is verbal abuse. Words carry tremendous weight, and hurtful language can leave scars that last a lifetime, especially when said by a trusted authority figure, such as daycare employees. We've handled cases where children endured emotional harm due to the cruel language used by daycare staff, such as:

  • kids being told their parents don’t love them or want them anymore
  • caregivers using harsh language in an aggressive tone
  • and telling kids that they’re “the devil” or “the worst kid they’ve ever seen”

Verbal assaults by caregivers shatters the trust that kids and their parents have and can cause lasting damage to children that fall victim to it.

Physical Abuse

Then there's physical punishments – a line that should never be crossed. No child should face unnecessary force, and recognizing the signs is crucial. Most commonly, the signs of physical punishments include bruises and cuts. If your child was subjected to physical discipline at daycare, it's important to take immediate action to protect them.

Examples of physical punishments we’ve seen include:

  • Caregivers yanking a child around by their arm, causing broken arms or dislocated joints
  • Children being pushed, hit, or shoved by caregivers,
  • And caregivers being aggressive with children, trying to force them to lay down or stay down for nap time

Psychological signs of physical abuse will come in many forms, but typically we see children either becoming extra aggressive or completely withdrawn.


Shaming Tactics come in at number four. Emotional harm can run deep when children face shaming or humiliating situations. These tactics are explicitly prohibited by the state as the long-term damage shaming causes can be devastating. Some examples of shaming we’ve seen include:

  • Name-calling
  • Spraying kids with Lysol, saying they’re “dirty”
  • And withholding food in front of other kids, saying they’re “obese” or “fat”

Withholding Needs

And finally, we have withholding basic needs. Denying a child their fundamental needs, like food and water or even nap time, as a form of discipline is never acceptable.

These harmful practices can cause serious damage and are unnecessarily cruel. If you suspect your child has faced any of these improper disciplines, we urge you to take action immediately by reporting to the state agencies and other proper authorities. Reach out to our daycare injury legal team at The Button Law Firm, and let's discuss your legal options.

If you’re not quite ready to speak to us, we get it. Be sure to download our free guide, 5 steps to take after a daycare injury. It’s linked here. Your child's safety isn't just a priority – it's our unwavering commitment.

We’re here to keep you and your family moving forward.

Contact The Button Law Firm

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child was injured while in the care of a Texas childcare facility. We are ready to listen and fight for your family to get justice and move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Get a free case evaluation by calling us at 214-699-4409, emailing us at [email protected], or filling out a contact form.

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