We’ve talked to our fair share of agitated, frustrated, sad, and angry parents, calling us because their child was injured or mistreated at daycare. This is very troubling, since so many parents today count on daycares. Entrusting our children to daycare employees every morning is certainly not a decision to be made lightly. We have got to trust the daycare will be properly staffed with trained professionals. We have got to trust the daycare’s building and rooms are safe and free from dangers – particularly those hazards that most impact infants and children, like sharp corners and small toys. We have got to make sure our kids are safe – not bullied, abused, left alone, or neglected – and that our children are looked after responsibly, just like a parent would. For those of us who work and have young sons and daughters at home, daycare plays such an integral role in our lives – nothing is more important than caring for our children and providing them with a safe environment.
That is why injuries at daycare need to be taken very seriously. We don’t just have to hope our daycares are trustworthy enough to care for our children. There are laws and regulations that govern the operation of daycares. In some states, including Illinois, daycares have to be licensed. Daycares also should be insured. If your daycare is operated out of a neighbor’s house, not a business location, that is a red flag indicating you may want to ask whether the neighbor is licensed and insured. Another red flag is seeing a large group of children supervised by only one or two staff members at the daycare.
To check if your daycare is licensed, visit this website maintained by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
If you remember, partner Ken Levinson recently obtained a $43 million verdict against an unlicensed daycare operation. That daycare was operated out of a house, and young girl was sexually abused by the homeowner. Just this week, a four-month old infant child died at a daycare in New York City when he was laid down to sleep at the home daycare, and then found unresponsive.
These are two horrible, very serious cases involving unlicensed daycares. Plenty of other disconcerting issues arise, though, such as children injured from falling or being pushed or pulled by other children. Sometimes, a supervisor or staff member should have been paying attention to the children, but wasn’t at the time of injury. Other times, video surveillance of the daycare shows exactly what happened, and who was where, when. If your child was injured at daycare, you may have a legal claim against the daycare. At the very least, it is worth investigating. Call an experienced child injury lawyer to discuss your options.