Child Day Care
Child Day Care
Ward Leber (CEO) gives expert video advice on: What are the different types of 'day care'?; What should I know about a day care facility before admitting my child?; What are signs my child is being abused during day care? and more...
What are the different types of 'day care'?
There's a number of different types of day care. You can find them at your workplace, you can find them in non-profit organizations, there are churches that have day care centers, and there are national chains that have day care centers, such as the YMCA. The differences in all of them are the type of care that they give in children, and the ages. There are day care providers that specialize in infants, newborns and toddlers and there are a lot of them that won't take kids that are under a certain age. The first thing that a parent would need to do in locating a day care facility other than geography, seeing what's close to them, is to find out whether or not they take kids that age.
Do all day care providers need to be licensed?
Yes, all day care providers need to licensed. It is better to check how current their license is and whether there are any complaints filed against them.
What should I know about a day care facility before admitting my child?
What you want to find out about a day care facility - other than the typical checking to make sure that they're properly licensed - is you want to take a look at the ratio of child caretakers to children. You also want to take a look at what kind of age-appropriate activities they have. You need to interview them about discipline, for example. If a child is misbehaving, you need to find out whether or not they know what to do about it, and if this what you would want them to do with your child. You also need to find out what their policies are for health. Not just the care providers, but also the kids. For example, when I would have kids in a day care facility, I would never put them in one where they allow sick children. If a child shows up that's sick, and Mom's leaving them at the front door, most of them will just let them all in - so now your kids can be sick. If you have more than one kid, all of them get sick. So one of the first questions I would find out is what their health policies are. But not just of the children, but also of the care-givers.
What are signs my child is being abused during day care?
Well, there's a number of signs about child abuse, and some of them are physical signs that are outward, and others are more inward emotional signs. An example of outward signs is a child that's constantly having an injury that's in different levels of healing. That means they are being constantly reinjured in the same place, which might be they're getting hit, or they might be getting cut. You don't know exactly what the injury might be but if you see it over and over again, and it's always in different stages of healing, it means that the child is constantly being reinjured. Another major component would be a drastic change, in either their eating habits, or any fears that they might have that they didn't have before. So, talking to children is usually the way that you're going to know. They don't act the same way when they're being abused as they did before they were being abused. So, when you're paying attention to kids and they all of a sudden have an issue; they're not eating the same way, they're not sleeping the same way, they start talking about not wanting to go to the same places where they know they're being abused, you've really got to keep your ears open and listen for it.
What if I suspect my child has been abused during day care?
Depending on where you are in the country, there's a number of different places you can go. Most of the police departments will work with an organization called the Child Protective Services. However, the very first thing you would want to do is open up a file to investigate whether or not your child has been abused. The police department in all cities will have referrals for psychological counselling to deal with children who have been abused. Your local children's hospitals will have referrals for that. Even many of the major churches will have a psychologist or a psychiatrist who has worked with crisis situations with children. So, you need to have your child interviewed by a professional. Often times, you won't get the information out of your own child. You can't just say what happened to you, as they don't want to talk about it. It's usually a situation where a professional who really understands talking to children that's going to use a lot of play therapy to discuss with them what might have happened or where they might have been touched or what happened during the day care facility experience. You need somebody who has credentials to do that. So, I would start with the local police department. I would say that I believe my child has been abused, and then they will open up a case file or refer you to the local Child Protective Services. That's where you'll start getting all of your referrals for medical examinations and for any type of physical examinations. All child abuse cases are going to take an assessment by a number of professionals. They take an assessment from a medical doctor, a psychologist, and the district attorney. So the child is going to be re-traumatized when you're investigating it and it's a difficult process for kids to go through.