Safe and Reliable Daycare: Where Do the Answers Lie?
This blog post is the third and final in a three-part series entitled When the Unimaginable Happens: Wrongful Death and Injuries of Children in the Hands of Childcare. This post was written by Sara M. Davis.
Our professional experience has shown us the challenges that working parents face in making daycare arrangements for their children. As accident and personal injury attorneys, we have seen the tragic results of poorly run and illegal daycare. We have worked with legislators to progress better solutions for the children of working families, but more must be done.
Finding Solutions for Child Daycare
Costs are high, quality is low, and regulation is lacking. What needs to be done?
Many economists have noted that better childcare would improve economic productivity. First, with more people being free to work, it improves the flexibility of the labor force and allows us to realize the full potential of that labor force. Second, children that grow up without good childcare are less likely to be productive members of society and are more likely to fall into delinquency. Disruption to society is a further drain on resources, making the neglect of childcare a poor decision.
There are some good childcare models to which we can look. U.S. Military bases have some of the best childcare in America. They have strict requirements for providers, inspect facilities four times per year, and provide adequate assistance which allows all base personnel to reap the benefits of the program.
In France, early childhood education is very highly valued. Preschool is treated as a part of the public education system and preschool teachers have extensive education training. Parents can choose to opt out of the preschool program and receive a tax credit, but few do because of the high quality that the government program ensures.
President Obama has set out a plan to provide federal funding for state preschool programs such that the federal government will match what the state provides, dollar for dollar. Some states have already implemented successful preschool programs, including Georgia and Oklahoma and the hope is that this extra money will encourage other states to do the same.
A Better Set of Standards
The facts show that higher standards in childcare are not only necessary, but are very attainable. But first, the standards must be established. Strict regulations on providers and frequent inspections are necessary to maintain the safety and well-being of American children. Because of the importance of childcare to families and our nation as a whole, a significant investment must be made to improve the system.
Read the two previous posts in this series: