One Step Back, Two Steps Forward (I Hope)

I was saddened to learn last week of an incident where a child was restrained by a teacher in a local child care center. The proper authorities are involved and an investigation is underway. 4C has been informed of and involved in various responses to this incident. It is central to 4C’s mission to support child care programs and families always, especially in times of need.

Incidents like these are tragic, not only for the individuals involved, but for the field of child care in general. As I’ve reflected on this over the past few days, and grieved for the individuals involved, I am focusing my energy on prevention of incidents like this in the future.

Kentucky and Ohio have made progress in improving child care, but there is still a ways to go. We must guarantee that essential safety, health and protective practices are present every day and build to high quality from there. Every child is wired to learn right from the start and these settings either promote or inhibit children from learning. Not to mention it should be a basic right for us all to be safe. Until child care is perfect, here are a few things you can do:

  • Be aware. Have a heightened awareness for changes in behavior of children or teachers.
  • Trust your gut. If you are suspicious about something in a child care center, please contact 4C so that we can assist you with your concerns or a report. Sometimes children can’t speak for themselves, so they need their caring adults to do so for them.
  • Support comprehensive background checks of child care staff. In a previous blog, I shared that background checks are less in depth than you might think. You can make a difference right now with one easy click to tell your legislator why this issue matters.
  • Be a champion for quality. Some child care and early learning programs are working hard and making the investment in quality. Whether you are a teacher, a parent or a community member, get interested in what the highest quality programs in our community are up to. For more information about quality in child care, visit our Web site.

None of these are absolute assurances that children will be safe, but they go a long way to keep children out of harm’s way.