One of the first things a mom thinks about before going back to work after childbirth concerns who will take care of her kids while she's away. Many opt for daycare centers, as these are convenient and often effective. Sadly, not all daycare centers are to be trusted.
According to JrLawFirm, an analysis of data gathered in 2006 showed that 5,321 daycare providers were found to be abusive and to neglect the children in their care.
Caught on camera
A childminder was caught in the act after a child made a complaint that was concerning.
Christina Williamson was arrested after a video showed her violently handling the kids in her care, including Desiree LeBlanc's baby daughter.
LeBlanc said that, when she had to return to work after childbirth, she felt comfortable leaving her baby daughter with Williamson, who ran a home daycare center. She thought everything was going well until the day she was called to go pick her daughter up immediately.
As it turned out, Williamson would often cruelly manhandle the children. This abuse was discovered by her husband. An 8-year-old boy, who was one of the kids Williamson cared for, approached him to report the woman's unusual treatment of the kids.
He set up cameras in the house to verify the boy's claims and ended up recording some of the mean and unacceptable things his soon-to-be ex-wife was doing to the kids, including shoving the little ones and dragging them around violently.
She was arrested and brought to book for her actions.
How to prevent daycare maltreatment
Stories like this can terrify any parent and have them wondering if there is any way to ensure the daycare centers they choose are safe. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee anything, but with a few tips, you can reduce the chances of your kid being a victim of such cruelty.
- Drop by unannounced: When daycare centers know to expect you only at certain times, it's possible for maltreatment to take place. Dropping by unannounced will ensure you see how they interact with kids when no one is looking.
- Trust your instincts: Falls and minor scrapes are a part of toddlerhood, but if you suspect your child's injuries or behavior are just not normal, make sure you take action.
- Be open to change: Yes, kids thrive when there is stability, but they are also resilient. If something bothers you about the daycare center, don't be afraid to take them out of there. They can adapt to a new place but they should not be forced to endure abuse.
Read here for signs of child abuse to look out for.
Be watchful. Ask questions and constantly check in on how your child is doing in daycare. This helps to ensure you spot an abusive situation and, at the very least, it gives you peace of mind.
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