Dear Friend,

With summer upon us and school out, you may be facing the challenging task of finding the right daycare for your little ones. A recent incident involving an 11-month-old boy at a Daycare in Norfolk is a sobering reminder of the importance of choosing a safe and reliable daycare.

The toddler’s mother was horrified when she discovered that her son had been bitten five times in one day at the daycare. It turned out that the daycare was understaffed with several more children in attendance above what is legally allowed.

As a parent, grandparent, or guardian, I hope this stands out as a cautionary tale because this little guy got off easy.  Every year, children die in the care of daycare attendants without the qualifications, facilities, or staff necessary to operate a dog kennel, let alone an institute that cares for young children.

When choosing a daycare, here are some essential tips to help you choose wisely and protect your child:

  1. Research and Verify: Start by researching daycares in your area. Look for reviews online, ask for recommendations from other parents, and check the daycare’s credentials. Make sure they are registered with the appropriate local and state authorities.
  2. Visit and Observe: Visit the daycare in person. Observe how the staff interacts with the children. Are they attentive and caring? Is the environment clean and safe? Pay attention to the staff-to-child ratio. Without adequate supervision, your little one is at risk.
  3. Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. Ask about the staff’s qualifications and experience, their policies on discipline and handling emergencies, and how they will make sure your child stays safe. A reputable daycare will be happy to answer your questions.
  4. Trust Your Instincts: Sometimes, your gut feeling is the best guide. If something doesn’t feel right during your visit, trust your instincts and keep looking. Your child’s safety and well-being are too important to act with doubt.
  5. Stay Involved: After choosing a daycare, stay involved. Regularly check in with the staff, visit unannounced, and talk to your child about their day. Being an active participant in your child’s daycare experience helps ensure they are well cared for.

Choosing the right daycare is a critical decision that impacts your child’s safety and development. A lapse in supervision can lead to serious incidents. By taking these steps, you can help make sure your child is in a safe, nurturing environment.

But sometimes, despite our best efforts, things can go wrong. If a child you care about is ever injured while at daycare, don’t hesitate to contact me. You have rights, and I’m here to help you navigate the complexities of such situations.

Accidents and negligence at daycare can have long-lasting effects on your child’s well-being. Whether it’s a lack of supervision, unsafe facilities, or untrained staff, any form of negligence is unacceptable.

Until next time, stay vigilant, do your research, and trust your instincts. Your child’s safety is the top priority. And remember, if you ever need legal assistance, my office is here to support you.

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515

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