How to Choose a Houston Daycare Center
As parents, it is our job to protect our children. They are life’s most precious gifts. However, often, we also must entrust them to the care of others to go to work, and thus, there are many ways that children can be hurt. Accidents need not be the case, because there are many ways a parent can assure that their child’s daycare gives them the same care they would get at home.
Here are several things to consider when choosing a daycare center for your child
Looking at the Environment at the Daycare
You must visit a daycare center before signing up your child with them. During your initial visit, care must be taken to look at the surrounding environment. Is there a lot of clutter, or is the trash overflowing? Are the caregivers engaged with the children, or are the children only playing amongst themselves while the caregiver is passively on the other side of the room? Further, check and make sure there is an ample number of teachers per child. Typically, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one adult for every three babies up to 24 months of age.
Also, a report by Parents.com suggests that parents do more than one environment check when thinking about enrolling their children at that facility. It is recommended that parents use word-of-mouth referrals and stopping by for an unplanned visit. Often, daycare centers will be extra diligent when they know upcoming parent visits, and as such, you will have a better idea of their day-to-day practices during an unplanned appearance.
Daycare Commitment & Policies
Whether you are looking at a daycare center for the short or long term, inquire about their responsibility to ensure your child has a place for enrollment. For instance, if you have only your child at the center during fall and spring, inquire about whether spots are kept, or if they fill up during summer and winter, will you miss out. And one should also inquire about employee turnover and if it is high, ask why. To that extent, seek clarification about the specific policies that the facility has for education, discipline, and so forth. Are the daycare workers educated in child development? Do they have CPR certification? On a similar note, does the facility utilize time out as punishment, or do they choose constructive redirection instead? The daycare center should not be able only to answer these questions readily, but they should also welcome any clarifications or concerns.
Trust Your Instinct
Above all else, use the old idiom and ‘trust your gut.’ If a particular aspect about the daycare center does not feel right, even if everything looks fine on the surface, then it would be a smart idea to keep looking. Further, you can also follow up with child care license information, standards, and all governmental policies at The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Millions of mothers and fathers entrust the care of their child (or children) to daycare centers each week as they head out to make the wages necessary to keep their families afloat financially. Most of them would prefer to remain at home and care for the child themselves because we all know no one will look out for your child with the same authentic concern as the parent.
Unfortunately, working is a necessity for most of us, and even when we believe we have located the perfect substitute ‘parenting’ group, we still hold our breaths as we hand our children over. And with good reason but because statistics show that thousands of children receive injuries and some severe while at daycare each day.
Daycare Injuries are Frequent
Sometimes, the injuries are severe. Take, for instance, the case of the mother whose child rolled off a changing table and hit the floor when he had been left unattended. Even though the daycare center claimed the child was fine – the mother took her son straightaway to the emergency room where they discovered he had a fractured skull and concussion. Other examples like broken arms and legs occur much more frequently in daycare accidents than you would believe.
Parents frequently pull their child out of that daycare center immediately and then sued them for negligence and sometimes even punitive damages. Even when the child eventually recovers – the parents (particularly the mother) often have a hard time not feeling guilty for entrusting their little one to the daycare after a daycare accident.
Texas will usually investigate a serious daycare child injury though the Texas Child Care Licensing agency. However, Child Care Licensing is only interested in finding rules infractions, and even if they find a rule violation, a slap on the wrist is the likely outcome.
Overall, you must be proactive about ensuring your child’s safety, and often, the first step is choosing the right daycare center.
Contact a Daycare Injury Attorney
Call the Baumgartner Law Firm for a no-obligation consultation about any Houston daycare injury claim. (281) 587-1111. Our daycare injury lawyers have been helping families after daycare negligence for over 35 years!