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Babysitter Beware: Using Caution When Choosing Childcare for Your Little One

baby playing with toys

Recently, we were saddened to take on a case involving the death of an infant child. What’s even more unfortunate is that this child was in the hands of a childcare facility when the death occurred, and it was the second child death at this particular location. We are grieved for the parents, family, and friends of these little ones, and heartbroken that the parents did nothing wrong. They needed care for their child, trusted (what they thought was) a quality establishment, and ended up losing part of their family.

We know that childcare is an important decision as a parent. When you must return to work, you want to know that your kids are in capable and trustworthy hands. Some families are fortunate enough to have an adult family member such as a parent, aunt, uncle, or even a close friend keep their child(ren) while they are gone during the day, but others who don’t have these resources must research and seek out professional childcare options. The options are endless, and we know it’s confusing and difficult to look for someone to stand in your place when you can’t be there.

While there are no guarantees with a daycare facility, there are some key things to keep in mind:

First, personal nannies, babysitters, or in-home facilities can be a good option, but ONLY if you have extensive background checks, references, and personal interviews in hand. Be wary of any caretakers found online or through impersonal sources, and make sure you do extensive research on each person in question.

Second, if you choose to go with a larger, more structured daycare program, pay close attention to reviews, ratings, and do your own searching regarding any DCF investigations both in the past, or ongoing. If you have friends or family who have used the facility, ask them for their opinions on the quality of the leadership, teachers, and amenities of the program.

Finally, use your instinct. A parent’s gut instinct should be heeded, and if you get a bad feeling about a potential childcare option, walk away. Nothing is worth the safety or life of your child. Make sure you are comfortable with the chosen option by visiting multiple times before signing paperwork, and asking about details such as sleeping arrangements for infants/small children, daily activities, outdoor play areas, if parents are allowed to visit during the day, etc. Keep in mind, as the parent, you have the right to know EVERYTHING going on with your child during the day. If you feel that something is being hidden or kept from you, push harder. Your child, and your money, means you have the right to any and all information about your little one.

When it comes to the children of our Lakeland community, our greatest desire is to see cases like the one we are representing eradicated. We urge you to use caution when choosing childcare options for your family. Our little ones are important, and they deserve our protection. Sessums Law Group is always proud to support our youngest clients, and when the unexpected happens, we stand for you!

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