When Atlanta, Georgia, Daycare Abuse Doesn’t Result in the Daycare Losing its License
There are rules and laws to prevent daycare abuse in Atlanta, Georgia. These rules work to ensure that kids eat healthy lunches, get regular healthy snacks, are provided with the opportunity to learn and play, and are taken care of with appropriate hygiene. Yet, even when Atlanta, Georgia, daycares fail to meet the standards that are set by the state and the daycare facilities themselves, they are not necessarily going to lose their state licenses to provide childcare.
When Will an Atlanta, Georgia, Daycare Lose its License?
Unfortunately, most Atlanta, Georgia, daycares are not going to lose their state licenses to provide childcare unless a
serious injury, death, or serious case of neglect or abuse occurs. There are inspections of daycares, but even multiple violations may not result in their licenses being revoked. Instead, they will face modest fines, and the case loads of these inspectors are often overwhelming, preventing much further investigation. Between 2007 and 2010, less than 30 out of 8,000 Georgia daycares lost their licenses, and this was an improvement through systems in place to encourage better performance.
In the past, rule violations that were correctable would not cause the facility to lose its license unless that violation was not corrected within a given period of time. Yet, the new rules that were passed in 2009 allowed for daycare licenses to be denied or revoked for additional reasons. These included failing to pay civil penalty fines or making false statements. There are also allowances for emergency revocation of a license or placement of state monitors in emergency situations. Now, it is not necessary for a child to actually be harmed for the daycare facility to lose its license, but that is usually how it happens.
Examples of Daycares Losing Their Licenses in Georgia After Children are Harmed
Between 2007 and 2010, there were seven Georgia daycares that lost their state licenses to provide childcare because children that were in their care actually died. One case involved a three month old infant who died in a Decatur, Georgia, daycare on his first day there. In that case, there was just one person providing care for more than ten babies. The baby was struggling to breathe and even turned blue, but nobody called for emergency help until 30 minutes after the incident was discovered.
That same daycare had already received citations multiple times in the past for not having enough care providers for the children. Yet, the daycare continued to operate for six months after the child died before their childcare license was finally revoked. This is not an uncommon situation, as the average time for a daycare to lose its license is between three months and eight months after an incident occurs.
In another case, a daycare provider was actually locking children in a room without anyone to supervise or care for them, but they were given four separate chances before actually losing their license. Still another case involved a childcare provider getting three separate violations before losing her license when a four year old child wandered off unnoticed and was found next to a busy highway.
In 2008, a woman lost her home based daycare license because a two year old child in her care fell while not being supervised and suffered from serious spinal injuries. Yet, the child was not taken to get medical attention, which was irresponsible and against the law. Part of the problem is that the daycare providers themselves are tasked with reporting such injuries and they do not always do so.
How Georgia is Ranked by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
When it comes to staffing and oversight, the state of Georgia is ranked as 32nd in the United States by the National Association of Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies. This is pretty low in comparison to surrounding states which have stricter rules concerning daycare abuse and neglect. However, Georgia has higher ratings when it comes to ensuring that daycares receive regular inspections and that complaint reports are filed online. Georgia also requires the inspectors to have bachelor’s degrees, which allows for higher marks in these areas too. Unfortunately, Georgia gets low marks when it comes to daycare monitoring, which happens only once per year instead of quarterly. The inspectors also have higher case loads than other states. Georgia is trying to change this by allowing inspectors to spend more time in daycares and to visit more frequently with fewer facilities on their case loads.
Funding is an Issue When it Comes to Monitoring Daycares in Atlanta, Georgia
Part of the reason that there are not enough inspectors and monitors in Atlanta, Georgia, daycares is that funding is an issue. Roughly 70% of all funding for this purpose comes from the lottery, but this also has to pay for other services for childcare and preschool programs. Then, another 30% of funding comes from federal funding, and state funding addresses less than 1% of funding, making it difficult to hire more people to take on these inspections and monitoring of daycares. The way that Georgia is trying to solve this problem is by focusing more on problem daycare facilities that have multiple violations.
Encouraging Better Daycare Services Without Revoking Licenses in Atlanta, Georgia
It is important to understand that revoking the license of a daycare is not the only option, and doing so leaves many children and families without access to childcare. This is why civil fines are applied when daycares have repeat violations. This encourages them to hire better quality staff, train them appropriately, and ensure that children are well cared for, not neglected or abused. It is also worth noting that many daycare violations can be resolved by improving the facilities, firing those who are abusing or neglecting children, and hiring more people to supervise children.
The goal is to encourage the existing daycare facilities to provide a higher quality of care to the children they are entrusted with. Some ways to do this include providing childcare providers and daycare facilities with technical action plans with steps that they can take, and then having them report to the state with their improvements and challenges.
Was Your Child a Victim of Daycare Abuse in Atlanta, Georgia?
If your child was a victim of daycare abuse in Atlanta, Georgia, call the daycare abuse attorneys at Council & Associates Attorneys at Law to learn more about what you can do.