Do You Know Who Is Driving Your Child's Daycare Van?
Frequently in the news we hear or read about children being injured or killed while being transported by their daycare provider. Often the injuries happen in a van carrying many children.
After a recent incident in which the driver of the van taking children home daycare crashed into a tree, we learned several pieces of important information.
1. The neighbors who lived near the crash scene had witnessed the van speeding down the street on several occasions before the day of the crash.
2. Before the crash, the driver had been charged with driving without a license and insurance.
3. On six occasions before the crash, the daycare center van had been caught driving with too many children. At the time of the crash, there were 14 children in the van. The van's capacity was 13.
4. There were up to four children sharing one seat belt. Witnesses said children were strewn all over the inside of the van.
5. Within a year before the crash, the van driver had left a child in the closed, hot van.
6. The daycare center owner closed all of the daycare centers she owned soon after the crash – and after an ongoing investigation showed that she was fraudulently claiming children who were not enrolled so she could increase her government subsidy.
Outrageous. Outrageous and scary for parents who need daycare so they can go to work to support their families.
What can you do to protect your child from vehicle injuries while in daycare?
- Demand to have daily confirmation that the center has complied with its own safety procedures and state regulatory requirements. Yes, sure, they can lie. But at least it makes the center do one more thing every day to assure you that your child is safe.
- Demand to see the driver’s license and driving record of whoever is driving the van in which your child is riding. For every driver, not just the “regular” driver.
- Demand to see how many seat belts are in the van and where each child sits on a daily basis – and that the seat belts are used for each child.
- Demand answers to every question you ask about procedures or what you have heard or what concerns you.
Forget about being a nuisance. This is your child. You are her best advocate. Disrupt if you have to – and if you have to disrupt and get no satisfaction, find another daycare center. A little inconvenience is worth your peace of mind and your child’s well being.