Daycare neglect is a form of negligence that doesn’t usually involve outright abuse. It may, however, contribute to a continuing cycle of abuse at a facility.
Most often, daycare neglect involves facilities where children aren’t adequately supervised. It can also be perpetrated by individual nannies and by other facilities such as summer camps and anywhere else parents expect that their children will be adequately supervised.
Neglect may be a bit harder to spot than signs of outright abuse, but inspecting the facility is one of the most effective ways to spot the warning signs.
Signs of Neglect at Daycare
Dirty conditions, equipment that isn’t properly maintained, or a building that isn’t safe for children are all situations which can pose a genuine threat to children.
Hygiene — Even if children are not old enough to be outside playing, they do have a way of getting dirty during the day. It’s part of the daycare’s responsibility to keep children from unnecessary harm, which includes making certain that the facility is clean and sanitary. If your child is consistently coming home dirty or disheveled, it’s a good indication that there may be an underlying issue with the daycare facility.
In some cases, you may find that your child comes home from the daycare ill quite a lot. This is somewhat predictable, as children tend to catch every cold going around, but it also may be due to poor hygiene. Look around the facility to check the cleanliness standards of the operators.
Medications — Some children require medication or a special diet during the day. If you suspect the daycare workers of failing to administer your child’s medication or adhering to their diet, follow up on it. Consult your doctor to see if your child’s health is suffering, and ask the daycare for detailed records of exactly when the medication was given, and by whom.
Injuries — One of the differences in the types of injuries you will see between abuse and neglect is that the injuries that tend to arise from children being neglected are more related to the types of things the children do to themselves. You may see frequent injuries resulting from rough play on playgrounds, from horseplay with other children and so forth. Your child should not be coming home with injuries again and again, and if they are, it might be a good idea to speak with other parents and to see if they are having the same experience with their children.
Daycare neglect can also result in situations where children are subjected to bullying and other forms of harassment by their peers. In a healthy situation, an adult would intervene in these scenarios and offer discipline and guidance for the children.
Problems with Staff
Daycare neglect oftentimes involves staff that is not properly trained. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you ask questions about licensing when you interview a new facility. All of the staff members who provide any type of childcare need to be licensed. Everyone who works at the facility, from the director to the person who takes care of the grounds, has to be background checked. Facilities that fail in this regard are a disaster waiting to happen.
Good daycare facilities oftentimes use a low caregiver-to-child ratio as a selling point. In fact, it is a great selling point because low ratios mean that the children get a lot of attention from the caregivers on an individual basis.
When you go to the facility, take a look at how secure the building is. Show up unannounced in order to determine how easy it is for a stranger to make their way around the facility. You’ll also want to check to make sure that the areas where children spend their time are constantly supervised. If there are a lot of places where a child could be isolated, it’s a bad sign. The facility may not be abusive, but certain conditions may lead to child neglect.
We May Be Able to Help
In some situations, you may be able to seek financial compensation through your attorney for what you and your child have been put through. Daycare providers have legal obligations to their clients, and when they’re violated, you should discuss your options with a daycare abuse lawyer.
A daycare abuse law firm has specialized staff on hand who can help to investigate your claims, and advocate on your family’s behalf in order to seek justice. Some firms do this differently than others. Some law firms will charge you upfront for their services, but others (like us) work on contingency meaning that you never pay a penny out of pocket unless we win your case.
If you suspect neglect or abuse in daycare, call Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-403-9378 for a free consultation.