Finding a daycare that will keep your child safe
Your children are more important to you than anything. Because you want them to be safe and healthy, you do what you can to protect them. You read food labels, make sure they get regular checkups and never start the car until they are buckled safely into their car seats.
Searching for a daycare provider requires the same care. Since your children will spend many hours at daycare, you want to be sure that they are safe and protected. You can do this by carefully screening each daycare you consider. Any daycare on your list should feel warm and inviting to your children. More importantly, the staff should welcome your questions and concerns.
Learn as much as you can
Like many parents, you probably wonder how much attention your daycare provider will be able to give to your child. You don’t expect the staff to spend every minute with your child, but supervision is important for a child’s safety. If there are too many children and not enough staff, your child may not receive enough supervision and could get hurt. Safety experts recommend these ratios:
- One adult for every three infants
- One adult for every six toddlers
- One adult for every nine preschoolers
The staff of the daycare should also have training in basic health and safety. You should not feel shy about asking if employees receive regular training in the following important skills:
- CPR for children
- Basic first aid
- Proper sleeping positions for babies
- Safe storage of cleaning supplies, medicines and other toxins
- Food allergies and cross-contamination
- Food storage and preparation safety
- Proper use of fire extinguishers
- Responding to emergencies
Who has access to your child?
You will also want to know if the daycare has a procedure for protecting children from abuse. This will include criminal background checks for any employees and policies for securing and answering the door when visitors come. While you want to be welcome to drop in and visit at any time, you also want to be certain the staff can identify every person who comes in contact with your child.
In addition to visiting daycare centers, you can do other research. California’s Department of Social Services keeps a database of licensed child care facilities, including safety violations and inspection reports.
If your child suffers an injury that you suspect resulted from the carelessness of the daycare staff, you have every right to seek legal advice for the best course of action.