Developmental delays, unexplained injuries, and shady visitation policies could indicate abuse in even the most reputable daycares. To keep children from harm, there are certain red flags to look out for before trusting any childcare provider.
Hidden Abuse in Childcare Facilities
Whether in-home or in a professional daycare facility, abuse can happen at the hands of childcare providers. In many cases, abusers are smooth-talkers who are good at hiding abuse or negligence. They may have excellent reviews and ratings and have often been in business for many years. As a recent Texas case highlights, parents should be aware of what is going on behind closed doors, communicate with other parents, and take action when something doesn’t seem right.
The abusive childcare provider had been in business since 1995, winning a Texas Association for the Education of the Young Child award. In 2014, she had also been chosen as classroom teacher of the year.
Despite the image she developed and curated over the course of her career, this individual was hiding a dark secret. Following one suspicious parent’s setup of a hidden camera on the car seat he used for his child, the woman was arrested for endangering and medicating the children in her care. Footage captured her handling the child in a rough manner and administering an undisclosed substance using a syringe. This prompted a police investigation.
While the woman claimed to be providing care for five children, police discovered four additional children in car seats in the master bedroom. The woman admitted to keeping the children restricted in their car seats and sedating them with Tylenol and other substances to control their behavior. Shoestring-type material was found around some of the children’s necks.
Looking for Signs of Abuse
Abusers often restrict parents’ access to a facility. The provider, in this case, required parents to text her in advance of their arrival. She wouldn’t allow them to enter the home at any time. Behavior like this should be a red flag for parents.
Parents should always have access to their children in daycare settings. Providers should always allow parents to visit, particularly in an in-home environment where the provider is often caring for children alone and without supervision.
If it weren’t for the diligence of one parent, this abusive behavior may have continued unsuspected.