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Alabama Child Day Care Centers – Disciplinary Practices – What Is Prohibited Under Alabama Law?

By Scott Soutullo, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Parents and caregivers in Alabama and Other States send their children to child day care to get supervision and care in a safe living environment. Child day care staff should be caring and diligent in their responsibilities. Pursuant to the State of Alabama – Minimum Standards for Child Day Care Center – Regulations and Procedures, a child day care center is prohibited from the following types of disciplinary practices:

The use of any form of corporal or physical punishment is prohibited. What is corporal or physical punishment? This would include spanking, kicking, pushing, biting, pinching, shaking, hitting, thumping, hair pulling, ear pulling, and any other type of physical act like these whether or not visible injury results or not.

The use of verbal abuse is also prohibited. Physical injuries can produce scars, fractures, and other types of personal injuries. Verbal abuse can also have life long effects on a child as well. What is verbal abuse? This would include name calling, shaming, derogatory or mean remarks about the child or the child’s family. It also involves the use of language or words that threaten, humiliate or frighten the child in the day care center.

The use of physical restraint for punishment is also prohibited.

There is also a regulation that prohibits the child day care center from using another child to administer punishment.

Beating, shaming, and restraining are prohibited under Alabama law. It does not matter that the day care worker grew up with beatings, spankings, or beltings as a form of punishment or whether these forms of punishment are thought of as effective. Alabama law prohibits these acts. If a day care or child care worker thinks that spankings are the most effective way to discipline a child in a day care center and then commits these acts, that day care or child care worker needs to find another career and a criminal defense attorney as well.

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