Leaving your child in the care of someone else is not easy. You may worry about their well-being the entire time you're at work. You may dread getting that phone call from the daycare center or the hospital.
At the same time, there is little you can do to avoid daycare. You want to keep your career afloat. You need to work to pay the bills. Until your child is old enough to go to school, you have to use a daycare.
Potential danger signs
To help you choose a good provider and avoid problematic providers, here are a few potential danger signs to watch out for:
1. No sick policies
A daycare needs to have policies in place regarding when they will not accept sick children, and they should follow these regulations. Remember, for very young children, some illnesses can be catastrophic. Do not put your child at risk.
2. Not enough staff
An understaffed daycare is a dangerous daycare. Workers simply cannot stay vigilant and give your children the care they deserve when they have too many children to watch all at once. When children are overlooked and forgotten, they can get hurt. Make sure the daycare has a healthy child-to-worker ratio.
3. Clear safety hazards
Take a look around the daycare while it is in operation. Do the windows have latches and locks? Are the cleaning supplies stored in a locked closet? Do you see exposed electrical outlets where there shouldn't be any? Are there any dangerous items left lying around -- like a pair of scissors left where young children can reach them? If you see any safety hazards that you wouldn't accept in your house, don't leave your child there.
4. Uncaring workers
This can be a bit harder to judge, but you want to avoid workers who clearly do not really care about the children's emotional or physical well-being. If a child cries, do the workers react? How do they look when they talk to the children? How long does it take to help a child with simple tasks?
5. Lack of licensing
A daycare cannot run without a Connecticut license. If the center is unlicensed or they give you some excuse about why their paperwork isn't in order, you should leave. Not only do you need to wonder if the center lost its license due to unsafe practices, but a licensing problem raises serious questions about how the workers treat the children.
Rights after an injury
If your child does suffer an injury at a daycare, be sure you understand your legal rights. You may be able to seek financial compensation and accountability if negligence has occurred.