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How to Identify a Negligent Daycare

Your child’s health and welfare is vital. When you leave your child in the supervision of a daycare, school, or caregiving environment, the last thing you want to have to worry about is their safety. To protect your child from a negligent environment, look for these signs from the personal injury law firm of Jenkins Utley, P.C.

Understaffing or Overcrowding

When you drop your child off or pick them up at daycare, be aware of the number of staffers and the number of children. Every state has a specific ratio of staffers to childcare, both for center-based care and home-based care, based on ages. In Georgia the ratios for center-based care are as follows:

  • 6 Weeks — 1:6, Maximum Group Size of 12
  • 9 Months — 1:6, Maximum Group Size of 12
  • 18 Months — 1:8, Maximum Group Size of 16
  • 27 Months — 1:10, Maximum Group Size of 20
  • 3 Years — 1:15, Maximum Group Size of 30
  • 4 Years — 1:18, Maximum Group Size of 36
  • 5 Years — 1:20, Maximum Group Size of 40
  • 6+ Years — 1:25, Maximum Group Size of 50

For home-based care, the Georgia childcare ratios are as follows:

  • 1 Year, 1:3
  • 3 Years, 1: 6
  • 5 years, 1:8

If you suspect that your child’s daycare is not appropriately staffed or is overcrowded, you may want to consider changing child care and notifying the appropriate state child care licensing agency. Low staff numbers can lead to a lack of supervision, which can result in serious injury.

Lack of Transparency

A key thing to look for when watching out for a negligent daycare is transparency. Having a transparent child care environment helps prevent neglect and abuse, and promotes openness between parents and their children’s school. To promote accountability, classrooms should have windows on the interior walls, so that parents and other daycare employees have a clear view of what’s happening inside. Daycares should also have ‘open door’ policies. If the facility has set visiting hours or they ask you to call ahead before visiting your child, this should be a red flag.

Lack of Emotional Support from Caregivers

Your child should be receiving emotional support and encouragement from caregivers, along with having their physical needs met. If you notice a teacher or staffer ignoring children when they are crying, yelling at children, or using embarrassment or shame for punishment, this may not be a good fit for your child. Also, if you recognize your child is being bullied by other children, and a caregiver isn’t addressing the issue, consider speaking with a supervisor or changing facilities.

Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met

Basic physical needs include food, safety, and hygiene. If you notice that your child is hungry at the end of every day or is losing weight, this could be a sign of inadequate food at school. Frequent bruises, scrapes, or injuries should also be a cause for concern, as this can be from a lack of watchful care. Lastly, if you notice that your child is infrequently changed, develops diaper rash more often than at home, or isn’t being cleaned properly after bathroom breaks or diaper changes, it may not be a good fit for your child.

Contact Jenkins Utley, P.C. in Atlanta for Negligent Daycare Assistance

No child should ever suffer harm or neglect at the hands of a caregiver. If your child has been harmed by the negligence of daycare or child care employees, contact the child care injury law firm of Jenkins Utley, P.C. in Atlanta, GA. We specialize in personal injury cases and have extensive experience settling these types of disputes. Contact us today at (404) 334-3013or a complimentary initial case review.