The new school year has just started and horror stories are already emerging about errors and carelessness by schools and daycare centers. One source was furious because his child wasn't picked up by a local daycare center one day because the bus stop she was to wait at had changed with new border changes within CCSD. The same week, that child was forgotten on a bus because she lay down on a seat and fell asleep, and the bus driver didn't check the bus carefully enough, seat by seat. Apparently, that little girl had been driven around and around until she finally woke up and asked the driver where they were going! Imagine his shock and her panic!
The following week, the daycare center once more forgot to pick up the child at that same bus stop and she had to walk across a busy street, through a busy parking lot, to reach the center in question.
Now, another mother has questioned a local daycare center because she said that her child was picked up without her permission, and without her signing a waiver or even formally enrolling in the daycare center after visiting to find out information about the place! The childcare facility has relatilated stating that they have the paperwork to prove that she had requested pickup. But if she had, wouldn't the parent have been notified so she didn't have to panic and frantically contact police to find out her child's whereabouts?
How far is too far?
A parent has the right to insist that their child is properly cared for when they are registered in a daycare center and it's the center's responsibility to ensure that they have the proper information for school drop-off and pick-up. Under no circumstances should a childcare center's director:
- Forget a child
- Ignore a child
- Promise something they can't deliver
- Change their mind without consulting or advising parents
- Release a child to anyone but a person authorized by the parents/guardians
Under no circumstances should a school release a child to an unauthorized person without having their credentials, name and photo on their records. This has to be in the parents' file, with a signed permission sheet from the parents. This is common practice in quality daycare centers, too.
There has to be more open communication: between parents and teachers, parents and children, school administration and daycare centers and between drivers and their facilities. Staff have to be properly trained in safety routines and parents must be contacted regarding any variations from the norm. Daycare staff should be informed if a child is not going to be attending for any reason, or they can't be responsible when the child doesn't arrive at the center. That is a parent's responsibility.
Thank goodness that no children were harmed in either of these cases, but think of the possibilities - it makes your mind boggle!
Safety first, folks, where children are concerned. How far is too far? There can be no excuses where a child's well-being is concerned.