By Joni J. Franklin, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Child care centers and day care centers in Kansas are regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment through various laws, rules, and regulations. Pursuant to Kansas General Regulation – K.A.R. 28-132 – Child Care Practices (Pages 34 – 35), a child care center has a duty to maintain a written policy as to discipline at a child care center. A child care center is prohibited from punishment that is physically harmful to the child. Furthermore, a child care center cannot humiliate or frighten a child as part of imposing discipline at the facility. The Kansas regulations specifically prohibit corporal punishment including spanking, pulling of hair, swatting, the yanking of an arm, or similar type of punishment. Verbal threats are prohibited as are derogatory remarks. The regulations also address other prohibited actions like locking a child in a room or box, withholding food or forcing food, and stinging or burning the mouth or other parts of the child’s body.
These regulations have purpose and meaning. A violation of these regulations is a violation. It does not matter that a child did not sustain permanent physical injuries or scarring. It also does not matter what the child care worker does at home or with his or her children.
Kansas facilities have a duty to follow these regulations. It is not only the law but also in the best interests of children to avoid punishment that is physically or psychologically harmful.