Many people think that their most important possession in life is their shiny new car or their favorite guitar, but this all changes in an instant when a person becomes a parent. The majority of parents would give the world just to make their child happy, but unfortunately, a parent simply can’t be around all of the time. Luckily, there are many methods of child care out there, but it’s important to be vigilant when choosing one. It’s an all-too-often realized fact that making the wrong choice in child care providers can turn tragic.
What to consider when choosing Child Care
Knowing what to look for in child care providers is imperative. This holds true regardless of whether an out-of-the-home babysitter or an all out daycare is being considered. One of the most important questions is the adult-to-child ratio. Children of all ages need plenty of attention and supervision, so the fewer children per adult, the better. For infants, there should be no more than four babies for every adult. Children aged four and up are usually fine with a ratio of ten children per adult.
It’s also important to ask for qualifications and references. Regardless of whether one person or an entire center is being considered, the question should be asked, what makes them qualified to care for children? Additionally, it’s important to ask for and contact references. No person, even if they work for a company, should automatically be trusted with one’s child. It’s far better to be safe than sorry in these situations.
Even after parents do all of their homework and choose the seemingly best option for their child’s care, the possibility still exists that other individuals will disappoint us. When this disappointment ends with a child being injured or put in danger, a child care provider could face criminal charges. Charges of child abuse can be levied against those who cause intentional harm to children while reckless endangerment charges aren’t outside of the realm of possibility for those who are simply negligent.
In a perfect world, the need for the aforementioned criminal charges wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, the need for even more severe charges exists. In March 2013, for instance, a California day care owner and one of his employees were arrested for involuntary manslaughter after a child under their care suffocated in a car seat. This is heartbreaking, but it’s important for parents to understand that real dangers exist out there. It’s also important to understand in such cases that the victims have legal rights and avenues they can pursue. Contacting a local personal injury lawyer is imperative for a good defense. For instance, if an abuse incident happened in San Bernardino, then contacting personal injury attorneys San Bernardino, CA area would be best. They will understand the local and state laws and be able to help a client understand their rights, and they will defend them for the best possible outcome. In most cases, attorneys will give a free initial consultation.
Further Legal Issues
Thankfully, the majority of negligent and abusive acts by child care providers don’t lead to such tragic endings as in the aforementioned California case. It’s still important to note, however, that the damage done could lead to extensive medical bills and pain and suffering for a child. In these cases, a parent can bring a civil suit against the child care provider and the organization, if any, that they work for.
It’s important to note that even if a child care giver is able to manipulate the system and get away with abuse, they could still face financial liability in civil court. The burden of proof is much lower in civil court than that seen in criminal courts. This means that even if the state isn’t able to secure criminal sanctions on a dangerous care giver, a good local personal injury attorney can still get a parent and child compensation for their ordeal.
The simple fact is that when a person takes on the responsibility of caring for another individual’s child, they have taken on the duty of keeping that child safe. When they fail in doing this, they can be held both criminally and civilly liable for their actions. Children are the most precious gifts on earth, and there’s literally no excuse to treat them otherwise. Whether it’s common negligence or outright abuse, it’s important that all dangerous childcare providers be held accountable.
Lisa Coleman, mother to 4, understands the importance of the need to find quality childcare for our children, somewhere we can leave them and have the sanctity they will be well cared for and safe until our return. She expresses the importance of being vigilant in checking references and qualifications before ever leaving any child in another’s care. It’s also important to understand that, should tragedy or injury happen, a parent has rights and the opportunity to hire legal help, such as Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, personal injury attorneys San Bernardino, CA, to defend and inform them of their rights.