It goes without saying that a kindergarten must be a safe place for a child, where they are in good hands. Doesn’t it seem natural for people working with kids to have the kindest hearts, the brightest smiles, and the softest voices? Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. According to a survey most of daycare centers have non-professional staff, whose actions are not heavily regulated. In general, only 10% of daycares provide high-quality services.
It turns out that danger may be everywhere.
A 6-year-old girl from China, Guo Jintong, tragically died after an incident in her kindergarten. According to her parents, who shared their loss on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the girl was mistreated by her teacher, Ju Chunwei, who allegedly taped the girl's mouth with sellotape because she was talking too much. The ambulance arrived 40 minutes after being called, but the girl had already been dead for half an hour. The doctors concluded the cause of death was twitching.
The devastated family demanded an explanation from the kindergarten, but neither the facility nor the police gave the parents a clear answer.
It’s hard to describe the overwhelming pain caused by a daughter’s loss. How could they possibly know that an ordinary day in the kindergarten would become the last one for their cheerful life-loving girl?
That case is not unique. Sadly, reports of child abuse in care facilities are getting more and more common. Schools, kindergartens, and nurseries should be a second home but, unfortunately, it can turn into a nightmare to any child, regardless of where they are from - a big city or a small town. It is within parents’ power - and rights - to fight for their children's safety.
How to prevent your kids from being mistreated?
1. Choose a reliable facility
Do your own research about daycare facilities or a kindergarten. Make sure it’s licensed and registered. As a parent, you must have access to the list of the most qualified centers, study their history and always check their staff reviews. It’s best to get in touch with your community and get references from other families.
2. Get involved
Once you make a choice, get involved as much as possible. Visit the facility and talk to the teachers and other parents regularly.
3. Observe your child
Unfortunately, too many kids suffer emotional or physical neglect by their teachers. Do not let it happen in your family. Be attentive to the signs of mistreatment:
- Uncommon mood swings;
- Showing anxiety and fear towards the care center or the staff;
- Behavioral changes;
- Reverting to infantile behavior. If your child is acting like a baby, sucking on his fingers, wanting to be carried and rocked, it means he is stressed and silently asking for psychological protection;
- Marks of abuse on the body;
- Urinary tract infections, pain around genitals;
- Wetting the bed at night;
- Unusual and weird games. Children reveal a lot through playing, so watch how your child is handling their toys – aggressive and dominant games can mean they are witnessing or experiencing the same at the daycare.
Trust your child and your instinct. If there is no solid evidence of child abuse, but your heart is telling you something is wrong, it’s better to dispel doubts and investigate the case in advance than be sorry later.