Texas legislators are grappling with changes that can be made to help reduce the shocking child fatality and serious injury rate in the state’s daycare facilities.
According to an investigation by the Texas Tribune, there have been 88 fatalities and more than 450 children sexually abused in the state’s child daycare facilities in the last 10 years. The deaths reportedly occurred through either physical abuse or neglect within these institutions. The spate of fatalities has led to an increase in the number of wrongful death claims filed by parents.
The Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, and leading legislators have said that they are looking at ways that the law can be changed to make these daycare facilities safer. One problem is that many of the facilities that are offering services to the public are actually illegal and are escaping investigation by state authorities. The fatality and abuse rate in these illegal facilities is reportedly higher than the facilities that are licensed.
An Investigation Into Widespread Abuse of Children Dropped After 4 Years
In 2013, a 30 person investigative unit was set up to examine the incidence of neglect and abuse in the state’s facilities and determine which ones were trying to operate under the radar. However, the unit was abandoned after four years. By all reports, the number of illegal daycare centers had dropped by then to less than half during the existence of the unit.
Creating another new investigative unit is one of several proposals being considered by state legislators.
One other proposal that has been somewhat controversial is to make it compulsory to have surveillance cameras installed in every center. This was something that Rep. Ana Hernandez, with the help of a mother who had lost her 3-month-old baby in one of the state’s centers, was addressing in the proposed new legislation. Shawna Diaz lost her 3-month-old to neglect in a Houston daycare center in 2016.
Daycare workers are apparently apprehensive about the possibility of installing cameras, saying that it makes their already stressful job more stressful. Some parents have also expressed concern, mainly emphasizing their doubts about the video content of their own children taken by the cameras being available to other parents.
Compulsory Liability Insurance Proposed for All Daycare Facilities
A professor in early childhood education at Texas A & M University-Commerce, David Brown, has suggested that all childhood centers, regardless of size, should have liability insurance. He says that apart from having insurance available to fund lawsuits by parents against the centers when children are harmed, it would mean a toughening of regulations as insurance companies demand higher standards of care as a price for securing insurance.
Legislators are also calling for a survey of staff-child ratios in Texas daycare centers, suggesting that this may have had an effect on the quality of care provided. Senator Judith Zefferini is intending introducing a bill in the state Senate to set up such a survey.
Did Your Child Suffer Abuse or Die in a San Antonio Daycare Facility? Contact Injury Lawyer San Antonio Today
It can be heartbreaking to discover that the very place you trusted your child with has neglected their duty of care and your child has been harmed in some way as a result. If your child has suffered in any way while in the care of a San Antonio daycare center, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Injury Lawyer San Antonio for professional and dedicated legal help at 956-631-3535.