As a parent, you take great care to choose a daycare center that will keep your child safe. But even a thorough screening and review of a daycare's credentials cannot guarantee that the staff will perform their duties diligently at all times. And when daycare centers are negligent, the results can be heartbreaking.
Consider an incident that occurred last summer at the Academy of Learning in Jersey City. It was there that a 19-year-old staff member was arrested for child abuse after a young child suffered a broken leg while in their care. The staff member allegedly fractured the child's tibia with her hand, and then failed to seek medical care for the child.
Asked about the incident, the daycare's owner defended the staff member. The owner said she did not think the employee was guilty and that the employee had been a "stellar worker" prior to her arrest. The owner also claimed the employee had passed a background check, and had child care "certificates of training."
Shortly afterward, the Academy of Learning was visited and inspected by the city Fire Department, the city Health Department, and the state Department of Children and Families. The inspectors found numerous violations. The violations included a fire hazard in the kitchen area and a blocked rear doorway.
Unfortunately, the incident in Jersey City sheds light on a widespread problem. Cases of injuries to children at daycare centers are reported all across the country. In 2007, the National Institute of Child Development conducted a study of the quality of services provided by daycare centers. The report found that more than half of daycare centers provide a "fair" to "poor" quality of care.
So what should you do if you believe your son or daughter has been hurt at daycare center? The first step, of course, is to seek immediate medical attention for your child. If you believe unsafe conditions or poor supervision existed at the daycare center and caused your child's injuries, you should contact the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to make a report. If your child did in fact suffer an injury, we encourage you to call our office for to learn your rights.
On behalf of parents, we pursue a variety of claims against daycare centers. Each case is investigated thoroughly. These different claims include liability based on negligent supervision of the child, negligent hiring of staff members, intentional assault , child abuse, failure to maintain safe premises, and more. When a child is injured and a daycare provider is a fault, we make it our business to hold the daycare center responsible. Please contact our attorneys at(800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 for a free consultation.