By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Alabama and other States, most day care centers are required to apply for and maintain a license. For the reputable day care centers, background checks are completed to determine if the day care center employee has a criminal history and if the person presents an apparent risk to children. In addition, employment and backgrounds are completed as to the work history of the employee. While it is impossible to weed out or keep out all bad elements from being employed at a day care center, due diligence should be taken to check on the backgrounds and work histories of the day care center workers. When a parent enrolls a child into a day care center, it is reasonable for a parent to ask about and meet the day care center employees working in the facility. It is also reasonable to ask if any other employees or visitors have access to or will be near the children in the day care center. At some day care centers, the owners and / or relatives of the owners present a risk to children in the day care center facility. Background checks are not always completed on relatives living at the home day care center or who may visit the home or commercial day care center. Tragically, children are, at times, abused and molested by day care center employees, day care center owners, family members of owners / employees, or visitors to the day care center.
In Clay, Alabama, the Associated Press reported that a teenager was accused of sexually abusing children in a Jefferson County, Alabama day care center. The Birmingham Sheriff’s Office reported that a 17 year old (Eric Lemont Higden) was charged with sexually abusing children less than 12 years old and with the crime of sodomy. Law enforcement authorities reported that Higden’s mother worked at Mama’s Place Christian Academy. The allegations involved 4 children. These are quite serious criminal charges that will require a full criminal investigation. Eric Lemont Higden will be entitled to the services of an Alabama criminal defense attorney or the services of the local Public Defender’s office. For more information regarding this matter, see 17 Year Old Arrested Due to Allegations of Sexual Abuse at Clay Alabama Day Care Center.
The story reported above helps illustrate the importance of parents knowing the following:
Who is watching my child at the day care center?
Who regularly visits a day care center?
Are background checks performed on all individuals have contact or access to my child?
Of course, if a criminal background check is performed on a person with no criminal background, the information will do nothing to warn a facility or day care center of the dangerous propensities of that individual. In addition to background checks, a general rule should be that all persons having access to a child should have State required training and licensing. Furthermore policies and procedures should be issued and followed that help prevent (to the extent possible) any isolation of a child with just one employee or adult person at a day care center.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Child Abuse, Medical Bills and Treatment, and other topics, You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.