When choosing a daycare for our child, one of the most obvious requirements it should fill is that it be a safe environment for children to learn, grow, and play. In St. Louis, however, a three-year-old was rushed to a Missouri hospital via ambulance after a daycare teacher threw her against a cabinet for no apparent reason. Brighter Day Care and Preschool surveillance video footage clearly reveals the instance of child abuse. (1)
Daycare Teacher Assaults Child
In the daycare video, the little girl stands calmly by a chair for two minutes, seemingly bothering no one. In an apparently unprovoked act of aggression, a teacher walks across the room, grabs the child’s arm, drags her across the schoolroom, and then throws her against a cabinet. The child was later taken to a local hospital due to a severe head injury caused by the teacher’s act of aggression. She received seven stitches before the hospital released her. (1)
The scariest thing about the situation is that the parents had no idea as to the real reason their child was injured. After the incident, the teacher reportedly sent home an accident note with the parents, explaining that their daughter had a “fall.” According to the family’s attorney, Jennifer Hanson, “In no world did this family have any idea that what was called a fall was actually an assault until they came to see that video.” (1)
Hansen went on to say, “One of the more egregious aspects of this case is that the daycare director told the family that she did not watch the surveillance tape until the family was with her.” Apparently, it was a full five days after the incident that one of the child’s relatives used their cell phone to record the surveillance footage. Understandably, they were shocked upon seeing the situation wasn’t an accident as reported. The daycare director fired the daycare teacher after seeing the footage. Police and child care inspectors came to investigate the issue. (1)
Signs of a Safe Daycare With Good Teachers
Horror stories like this one are certainly unnerving many parents. It can be especially heartwrenching to those who have received an accident report explaining a child injury. The ease at which teachers can lie on reports might make you uneasy. Thankfully, however, there are ways you can differentiate between a safe daycare and a questionable one. Consider these 3 tips:
1. Look for a good reputation
A good daycare will have a good reputation with the parents already sending their children there. Look for a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and consider if it’s a nurturing environment for your child. Ask the center if you can have names and contact information for any of their current attending families, then ask around for references. Unless a respectable parent says good things about their experience, then the daycare center might not be one you will like.
2. Make sure they have a current license
Be bold. Ask to see their license and credentials. Be sure to double-check their authenticity by calling your local social services department. There are state licensing regulations for health and safety that centers are required to meet, so be sure to check these items too. While a current license isn’t necessarily a guarantee of quality daycare, remember that if a center is lacking one, they’re not for you or your child. (2, 3)
3. Look for caring, qualified staff
Keep in mind that not everyone working at a daycare has specialized education, a college degree, certifications, or anything much more than a desire to provide for their own family. That being said, it is ideal for daycare center workers to have a background in early childhood development, understand CPR and other emergency training, and have a caring personality to suit the tasks of this job. Pay special attention to how the staff interacts with the children, what they talk about, and how they behave with each other. Good caregivers will ask you detailed questions about your child’s health, habits, and care. (3)
Daycare Teachers are Usually Amazing
A good daycare is supposed to provide a safe environment for children while their parents work. Anything less than that should not be tolerated. Never be too shy to request to see camera footage, ask questions, or investigate random bumps or bruises on your child. Your child’s safety is important, and you’re allowed to treat it that way! Many daycare workers choose the line of work because they genuinely love children and provide amazing care. A good teacher and daycare director would agree! We highlight these instances of misconduct as news because they are the exception, not the rule.