Finding a Quality Daycare

We've seen it on the news: a daycare worker caught on video abusing a child in her care. It's every parent's worst nightmare. According to the National Children's Alliance, nearly 700,000 American children are victims of abuse or neglect each year with 1,670 deaths in 2015 alone. In 90 percent of cases, child abuse or neglect is in the hands of a parent or family member.
Statistics on abuse and neglect by daycare providers alone isn't readily available. Some experts estimate approximately five percent of child abuse and neglect cases occur at daycare homes and facilities. If that percentage is accurate, it equates to about 35,000 American children abused or neglected in daycare homes and facilities each year.

Given these staggering statistics, how can parents ensure their child's safety when in the care of others? The first crucial step is thoroughly investigating and interviewing daycare facilities and providers before sending your child. Once your child begins daycare, you should also know the signs of abuse to be on the lookout for.


There are several steps parents can take before sending their child to a new daycare. If possible, try to visit several so you can make comparisons.

Is the daycare licensed? The first thing to look for is whether a daycare facility or home is licensed. Licensing is required in most states if the caregiver isn't a relative. Visit your state licensing and regulatory affairs department website to look up a daycare to ensure its license is up to date.

Is the daycare in compliance? While you're at your state's website, find out what your state's requirements are for daycare homes and centers, so you know what to expect. You'll want to keep this information handy when you tour the home or facility, so you know whether the daycare you're considering complies.


A tour of the daycare will tell you a lot. Don't be shy about asking for a full tour. Think of it, however, as an inspection. Look for the following:


This is another and equally important step to finding a quality loving environment for your child. Take this list of questions with you and add your own questions as well:



Is My Child Being Abused?

Parents must take into account what they know about their child combined with all the other factors to make an educated guess. When in doubt, it's best to err on the side of caution. The following are signs of abuse to watch for in your child. Be on the alert if your child:

If you suspect something is amiss, talk with your child in a calm, reassuring tone. If you have any concern something is wrong, don't send your child back until you've thoroughly investigated the situation and are confident there's been no abuse. Have your child's doctor examine your child for any signs of physical or sexual abuse you may have missed. If you suspect abuse may have occurred, make a report of your suspicion so it can be thoroughly investigated. Find out how to make a report in your state at the following website:

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