Day Care Providers – What You Need to Know to Protect Your Children
Working parents throughout Virginia depend on day care providers to look after their children. Unfortunately, children at day care facilities who are injured often are too young to speak up for themselves. These injuries are varied and numerous and can range from milk bottle burns to playground accidents to being left behind abandoned on a field trip. If you are a parent of a child in day care, what do you need to know about the daycare to ensure the safest environment for your child? What should you know to be able to obtain adequate remedies in the event of injury?
Licensing. To ensure your child is in the safest environment possible, make sure that your child’s day care facility is licensed and regularly inspected by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Not all childcare providers are subject to the same background check, training, qualifications, health, safety, and inspection requirements as licensed providers. In fact, some programs, including religious exempt daycares, can be unlicensed but regulated, or unlicensed and unregistered. Ask for a copy of the license. More information about the types of day care programs in Virginia can be found on the Department of Social Services website at: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cc/index.cgi. For the programs that are regulated by DSS, parents can check for inspection reports and violations at: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/cc.cgi.
Insurance. In selecting a day care provider for your child, make certain that the provider is properly insured. There must be adequate insurance to cover any injuries that your child might suffer. If a day care provider is licensed, it should also be insured; however, we have handled cases where the provider let the insurance lapse. Insurance is critical, because even if you have a valid claim, a lack of insurance will prevent a full and just recovery. Ask them for proof of current insurance coverage. Also ask them if they have medical payments coverage under their insurance to cover any medical bills regardless of fault.
Training. Finally, find out what qualifications the employees hold and what training is provided. Ask how injuries will be handled, reported and documented. While you are at work, you want to have peace of mind that your child is going to be cared for very well.
At Locke and Quinn, we have handled many matters involving injury to children including daycare injuries. To explore a civil recovery for a daycare or similar injury, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was written by Colleen M. Quinn, Esq., and Kati Kitts Dean, Esq., and provides general information only. For more details, please be sure to contact an attorney.