A recently reported Virginia case serves as a reminder of how prevalent negligent conduct which produces injuries is in daycare and childcare situations. The problem of course is that eliciting competent, legally usable testimony from a toddler is virtually impossible. In many instances the victim is not yet able to speak, as are the pool of witnesses, the other toddlers.
The Virginia case of which I speak, involving a facility called Minnieland at the Glen, was far worse then mere negligence it appears to have involved deliberate cruelty to our society's most vulnerable citizens. The conduct included stepping on toddlers the toes of toddlers not wearing shoes, feeding toddlers hot foods, dunking children afraid of water into pools, encouraging fighting and other despicable conduct.
So how did this come to light? Evidently other staff members reported systematic problems which led to an invetsigation by the Prince William County Police Department and Virgina Department of Social Services. What is truly amazing is that the two staff members who abused the toddlers pursued this course of action for six months! Can you imagine if your two-or three-year-old was routinely either subject to abuse or witnessed such abuse routinely by the very adults who are meant to educate and take care of them?
At Clark and Steinhorn we have pursued a number of cases involving childcare and school conduct which led to significant injuries and the bottom line is that if you suspect that something isn't right or if your child sustains a significant injury at daycare or school, don't sleep on the matter, ask questions of your child, the staff, other parents and the Department of Social Services where you reside.