A client emailed my the above news clip regarding a day care worker at a gym that abandoned the children she was responsible for looking after in order to attend to a personal errand. Of course, I was shocked and appalled by this blatant disregard to child safety, but what is most disturbing about this story is the fact that most quasi-day care facilities in… a gym, a church or any privately operated facility where the parents are on the premises are not subject to the same scrutiny — and laws that a ‘normal’ day care facility obligated to abide.
In Illinois and many other states, gyms and other facilities where the parents remain on the premises, do not need to conduct the same facility inspections and employee background checks that more traditional day care facilities are subject to.
Thankfully, this episode of poor judgment resulted in minor injuries to a child. However, as the parent of a toddler, I cringe to think of what may have occurred had the day care worker chosen to extend her break?
In situations such as this– if the child sustained a severe injury– I think a powerful argument could certainly be made that the gym was negligent in both their staffing of their children’s day care / babysitting facilities. Certainly, I think situations such as this demonstrate there is a real need for more regulation of all facilities— regardless of their location or the proximity of parents– in order to ensure maximum child safety.
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