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Is your child's daycare safe?

The right daycare provider can offer many benefits. Your children will have new friends to play with and may learn some valuable social skills to prepare them for school. Your children may also be fortunate to have a provider who offers stimulating activities that keep them curious and energized. Most importantly, the right daycare offers you peace of mind so you can earn a living without worrying about the safety and well-being of your children.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While child care providers are carefully screened and licensed by the state of Georgia, not every provider is diligent in complying with even the most basic safety precautions. There are some ways you can tell if your provider may be lacking in this area.

Are your children adequately supervised?

You may know parents who leave their children unsupervised for long stretches of time, and you are not surprised when one of those children gets hurt or gets into trouble. You do not want that for your child, so you expect your daycare staff to monitor the activities of the children, whether they are infants or pre-teens, playing or napping.

Of course, you can't be there all day to know for certain if this is happening, but some clues may reveal the level of supervision your children receive at their daycare. For example, if you think the ratio of children to adults is too high, you can ask if there are procedures for accounting for all the children throughout the day, and you should be suspicious of a daycare provider who discourages or forbids you from dropping in unannounced.

Good questions to ask

Your child's daycare provider should be willing to put your mind at ease by addressing any concerns you have about the safety of your child. Some questions you may ask include the following:

  • Do you have emergency plans, and do you practice them?
  • Are your employees trained in child CPR and first aid?
  • How do you prevent cross-contamination for children with allergies?
  • What is your policy for children who are sick?
  • Where do you store medicines and cleaning supplies?
  • Are you licensed by the state of Georgia?

While licensing doesn't always prevent danger, a daycare that is approved by the state has more oversight than one that is unlicensed. Nevertheless, even state licensing procedures can't guarantee that a provider will not act negligently or recklessly, resulting in illness or injury to your child. If this happens, you have every right to seek answers from a legal professional.

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