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If you’re thinking about sending your child to daycare, it may be worth narrowing down a few in your area before making a decision. You want to make sure that where your child is going is safe, fun, and educational, so it’s important to make sure you have checked all the boxes when finding a daycare for your child.
RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR A DAYCARE
If you’re about to head out to tour a few daycares, here are some red flags you should watch out for:
1. NO INSURANCE
This is an area many parents fail to consider. Adequate insurance coverage is one of the most important types of protection for a daycare center to possess. The unfortunate truth is that many parents don’t discover a lack of liability insurance until their child is injured while at daycare. When a child is injured as a result of the negligence of a daycare center, a claim may be pursued under the daycare’s liability insurance policy. Keep in mind that some states require daycare centers to have liability insurance in place, while others don’t.
2. BAD REPUTATION
Always avoid a center with a bad reputation; those reviews were written for a reason. If the place is good, it should want to show off that the center has gotten high praise. A good center is likely to keep references, so you probably shouldn’t have to ask for them. If a center doesn’t offer up any references, or you can’t find any on the internet, this may be a bad sign.
3. UNHAPPY OR UNCLEAN ENVIRONMENT
Pay attention to the toys and environment the kids are playing in. See if you are able to notice whether the employees wipe down surfaces after the kids have eaten or whether they wash their hands after diaper changes.
Be sure to gauge the atmosphere of the center; maybe there’s little to no interaction between the caregivers and kids, or the interaction doesn’t feel warm or engaging. The activities should also be age-appropriate and stimulating. Your parental gut is there for a reason, so trust it.
4. CLOSED-DOOR FACILITIES
A good daycare should allow you to drop by unannounced to check in on your child. You should be wary of closed-door facilities as this could be an indicator that the center is trying to hide something.
5. NO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN
Children need variety, change, and a chance to grow. If a daycare isn’t educationally stimulating, it may have a negative impact on your child’s development. The daycare curriculum should always be posted for parents to see; if not, ask the staff about the activities they provide and see whether they are following any specific educational philosophies.
6. NO BACKGROUND CHECKS ON STAFF
Federal law requires daycare centers to conduct criminal background checks on prospective employees. Parents want to know that their children are in safe hands after they are dropped off at a daycare center.
Daycare providers have a responsibility to hire the best people for the job. Conducting background checks before hiring people helps daycare managers protect children in their care from harm and also provides parents with peace of mind.
7. UNQUALIFIED OR UNAVAILABLE STAFF
Trust your gut. Be aware if an employee avoids answering questions about their experience, or doesn’t seem forthright about the daycare’s policies or procedures. A daycare should require more training and experience of its employees than having prior babysitting experience as teenagers.
Also be aware of employees who are difficult to get ahold of, or are generally slow at returning your emails or phone calls. This could be the beginning of a frustrating relationship, especially when your child’s well-being is at stake.
8. UNFRIENDLY STAFF
While everyone has bad days, daycare staff must be able to control their attitude at all times. Even if this attitude never manifests as physical abuse, the emotional effect this behavior may have on your child could be harmful and debilitating. If you experience a negative attitude from a staff member, take this as a sign to stay away.
9. HIGH TURNOVER AMONG STAFF
You want to ask about employee turnover or conduct some research. If it seems like the daycare is getting new employees, there is a likelihood that the center isn’t hiring people who view working at a daycare as a career or even a job they’re passionate about.
Children require consistency with caregivers and often become attached and look forward to seeing the same friendly faces each day. Separation from a caregiver may negatively impact your child by decreasing your child’s engagement in the daycare’s activities.
GET HELP FROM EXPERIENCED DAYCARE ABUSE LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our daycare abuse attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury while at daycare.
Zinda Law Group believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
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Suggested Reading: How Does a Daycare Injury Lawsuit Work?