March 28, 2024

Preventing Daycare Negligence: Questions Every Parent Should Ask Before Enrolling Their Child

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month sheds light on the critical need to protect children from all forms of harm, neglect, and exploitation. It brings attention to the prevalence and devastating impact of child abuse and neglect on individuals, families, and communities. Here at Turnbull, Holcomb, & LeMoine, our commitment to justice extends to the most vulnerable members of our community: our children. When it comes to entrusting our little ones to daycare centers, we rely on them to provide a nurturing and secure environment. In the US alone, over eleven million children are in childcare programs.  However, instances of daycare negligence can occur, leading to potential harm or injury to children. To safeguard against such tragic events, it is vital for parents to ask the right questions before enrolling their child in daycare.


Here are some basic inquiries every parent should consider:

Staff-to-Child Ratio: Ask about the staff-to-child ratio to ensure that your child will receive adequate supervision. Staff-to-child ratio depends on the age group of your child. Make sure to ask how many children each caregiver is responsible for and whether the ratio complies with state regulations. A lower ratio typically indicates better individual attention and supervision. Double-check with your state to make sure you are aware of what the legal ratio is for your child’s age range. For example, in Georgia, the required ratio for 2-year-olds is for every 10 children, there has to be at least 1 supervisor/teacher with a maximum class size of 20.  (1:10)


Staff Qualifications and Training: Learn about the qualifications and training of the daycare staff. Ask about their background in childcare, certifications, and ongoing training programs. Trained and experienced caregivers are better equipped to handle emergencies and provide quality care to children.


Safety Measures: Make sure to ask about safety protocols and measures in place to prevent accidents and injuries. Ask about childproofing procedures, emergency evacuation plans, and staff training in CPR and first aid. Additionally, ensure that the daycare facility undergoes regular safety inspections and adheres to safety standards.


Supervision Policies: Understand the daycare’s policies regarding the supervision of children, both indoors and outdoors. Ask how staff members monitor children during playtime, naptime, and other activities. Ensure that there are designated areas for different age groups and that older children are not left unsupervised with younger ones.


Communication Channels: Determine how the daycare center communicates with parents regarding their child’s well-being and daily activities. Inquire about daily reports, newsletters, or digital platforms used to update parents on their child’s progress and any incidents that may occur during the day.


Health and Hygiene Practices: Learn about the daycare’s policies regarding illness, hygiene, and cleanliness. Ask how they handle sick children, if there are protocols for handwashing, diaper changing, and sanitizing toys and equipment. A clean and hygienic environment is essential for preventing the spread of infections.


Background Checks and References: Inquire about the daycare’s procedures for screening staff members and conducting background checks. Ask for references from current or past parents to gain insight into their experiences and satisfaction with the daycare’s services.


Open Door Policy: Ensure that the daycare has an open door policy that allows parents to visit and observe their child at any time during operating hours. Transparency and accessibility foster trust between parents and caregivers and provide reassurance about their child’s well-being.


By asking these important questions and thoroughly vetting daycare facilities, parents can help prevent daycare negligence and ensure the safety and welfare of their children. However, it’s important to recognize the scope of the issue. In 2017, CPS agencies received over 4.1 million reports involving daycares, according to Darkness to Light. This shocking statistic serves as a chilling reminder that daycare negligence is unfortunately still prevalent. Remember, proactive measures and informed decisions are key to providing our children with the best possible care and protection.


If you have any questions or concerns at all about daycare negligence, do not hesitate to reach out. Here at Turnbull, Holcomb, & LeMoine, we are dedicated to providing the Strength, Service, and Results to our clients. Your peace of mind and the safety of your children are our top priorities, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.


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