When it comes to the care of our children the sky’s the limit. Most of us would go to the ends of the earth to protect our most precious gift.
We make sure they have appropriate friends, we ensure there are enough nutritious foods in their diet, and we take pride in doing what we can to teach them the right values and social skills required that allows them the opportunity to succeed in all areas of life.
Despite all this, however, most parents do not take the proper precautions in keeping their children safe at daycare.
How to keep your child safe at daycare? There are a number of measures and warning signs to watch out for that include:
- Discuss the topic of abuse with your children
- Always be aware of any physical marks
- Pay attention to new and unwanted behaviors
- They are not being honest about their ratios
- They have a huge turn-over rate
- They avoid questions and concerns
- They are not kid-friendly
- The staff is unprofessional
Through research and good old common sense, I managed to highlight 8 of the top red flags to watch out for when it comes to your child’s safety at a daycare facility, but the truth is there are probably many more.
If you can think of any more please drop them down below in the common section.
Discuss The Topic Of Abuse With Your Children:
Of course, this would really only apply if your child has passed the baby stage in development, but there should be no excuses why as soon as they can verbalize to have a discussion of abuse and what the daycare providers can or cannot do to them.
You can use what limited vocabulary they have and point to certain areas of their body and instruct them to tell you if they feel hurt or weird; worst-case scenario it’s a false alarm, but you could use that as a time for teaching and refining what earlier lessons they had been trained.
Either way, it’s a great idea to condition them to recognize danger while they are still young so that they can recognize danger at a very early age.
Moreover, this also reinforces the idea that you are there for them while subsequently cementing a bond between you and them.
Always Be Aware Of Any Physical Marks:
While the point above may require some creative approaches to get them to open up and verbalize, looking for and recognizing any physical marks should also be high up on any parent’s agenda.
Whenever your child takes a bath, gets ready for bed or any other time there is an opportunity to inspect them physically, that is something you should really take advantage of – especially if they are very young and not able to really vocalize their concerns to you.
And if you do discover any marks that appear to be concerning, you absolutely have the right to pick up the phone and enquire as to why your child has unexplained marks, bruising or cuts on their body.
Pay Attention To New And Unwanted Behaviors:
This is something you should really pay attention to, but if your real close to your kids, then there should be no real issues on picking up unwanted cues or otherwise abnormal behaviors.
If your child is usually an outgoing social butterfly, then all of a sudden they change into this reserved, gloomy person, you should be concerned and red flags should immediately be addressed.
If your child is old enough, another factor could also be that they are being bullied by another teacher or child for that matter, although being negatively targeted by another child at daycare is not that common.
The bottom line? Always pay attention to any odd or unusual behavior that comes on suddenly and without warning.
They Are Not Being Honest About Their Ratios:
Every state may differ, and here in Canada, every province has a set of guidelines when it comes to how many workers are required for 3 or more children at any given time.
Unfortunately, with many of these licensed daycare providers being “for-profit”, the sad reality is that many of them are always looking to cut corners and save a buck whenever possible.
These same providers are also counting on you, the parent, to turn a blind eye to this unscrupulous practice, or they are betting that you have no idea what the legal limits are making this a type of cowboy scenario where they can pretty much enact whatever guidelines suits them best.
Always do your due diligence and don’t be afraid to drop in unannounced and see for yourself if these important guidelines are actually being met.
They Have A Huge Turnover Rate:
Of course, having a huge turnover rate is alarming and this issue tends to be regulated to the larger centers where they have 7 or more employees.
That said, however, if you notice that your daycare center acts as a revolving door where employees come and go then you really should take notice.
Don’t be afraid to mention to the owners that you notice that they have a large turn-over rate with respect to staffing, and ask them what some of the reasons are.
If they seem dodgy or act shady afterward, then there is a fairly good chance the center itself is the root cause.
If possible, see if you can find an ex-employee and ask them why they left.
They Avoid Questions And Concerns:
First off, if your child is attending daycare and the owner or other workers avoid questions altogether or offer some vague answer then this in itself can be a huge red flag.
Any decent facility recognizes that parents will be naturally concerned about his or her child, so as an ethical center they tend to be proactive in the sense that they anticipate ahead of time these parental concerns.
That’s why when you hear of a particular daycare dodging questions, or they go out of the way to avoid meeting with you I would recommend you turn the other way and run.
They Are Not Kid-Friendly:
One of the first things we look at as parents and providers when you first survey any daycare facility is it safe from any potential danger.
Clearly, danger can mean many things, but in this context, I am referring to is the center free from any harmful objects, sharp corners, dangerous electrical wires – things of that sort.
I don’t think you will encounter many daycare centers that are lacking in this department, however, it has been known to happen, and thankfully people have reported them and they have since been subsequently shut down.
The Staff Is Unprofessional:
Having staff curse, smoke outside around the front doors, or otherwise treat the workplace and your children with no regard and respect is simply not appropriate.
Another alarming scenario is that you witness staff acting harshly to one another or worse, toward another child.
They may aggressively grab a baby and change their diaper with no regard acting like your precious infant is part of an assembly line.
They may also act emotionless during their interactions with other children raising the question: does this person even want to be here, and do they love what they are doing?
I also tend to wonder if that if this person is like this in front of other people, what are they like in their home life?
Having folks like that in charge of my child’s care is a hard no for me!
Hopefully, I addressed for you the core ways on how to keep your child safe at daycare, I know from personal experience the stress of the uncertainty by entrusting strangers to care for our most precious gifts – our children.
Children and those younger have little to no knowledge of what’s safe and what’s harmful to them, and that’s why we always must be proactive when it comes to the safety, health, and well-being of them otherwise there is a huge potential for our children to fall victim to all forms of abuse happening right underneath our noses.
We must always question and then question some more every action and policy we encounter, and function under the assumption that danger can lurk anywhere.
Then, and only then, can we feel safe in knowing that we continue to do what’s best and what’s right for our children.
Have a daycare horror story or an experience you would like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below.