By David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Columbia, South Carolina, a two month investigation by WLTX uncovered what parents should know about their child’s safety in daycares. WLTX found that several day care facilities had issues noted by the Department of Social Services (DSS). There were a variety of issues listed: unsafe facilities, abusive treatment of children, lack of supervision, serving expired milk to infants, and caregivers listening inappropriate music and watching soap operas in the presence of children.
The DSS has a frequently updated database that provides information about complaints and deficiencies for every licensed day care center in the state, both commercial and at-home facilities. DSS visits commercial day care facilities regularly unannounced, but does not visit at-home day cares unless a complaint has been made. DSS shut down 41 facilities since 2010, and generally, they were shut down after a long series of violations.
Bunnie Ward, Director of Early Education at United Way, said that you should ask questions before enrolling your child in a South Carolina daycare, do your homework, and be diligent and observant once your child is enrolled. United Way suggests every parent learn to “S.H.O.P.” The metaphor “S.H.O.P encourages parents to carefully evaluate each of the following areas in a day care center: “S”-supervision, “H”-health and safety, “O”- operation, and “P”-parent friendly.
Experts also agree that the best approach is for South Carolina parents to be proactive: Ask a lot of questions and make an educated decision about where your child will attend day care. For more information on this topic, see South Carolina Daycare Safety: WLTX Investigates.