Minnesota day care providers are held to a high standard of care. They are responsible for toddlers and young children who are typically helpless. Because of this, any allegation of misconduct or maltreatment by day care providers can result in severe penalties, including license revocation and jail.
If you or one of your staff members is accused of misconduct, it is important to take the allegations seriously.
Virginia case highlights the serious consequences of misconduct
A case out of Virginia provides an example of the type of punishment that can be applied to a day care worker who is found guilty of abusing children. The woman was found guilty of seven counts of felony child cruelty in addition to two misdemeanors. She could have been facing 13 years in prison, but the judge suspended most of the sentence and she will serve a total of 21 months.
In addition to the jail time, the worker received 10 years probation, anger management classes and a mental health evaluation. She also will not be allowed to work in a day care setting and is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with children during her probation.
The investigation found that she apparently mistreated the children by tripping them, spraying water in their face, stepping on their feet, encouraging fights between children and often laughing at the children when they cried or were in distress. Her behavior was called “systematic cruelty”
The worker denied the allegations and her attorney said she still maintains her innocence.
Take all claims of maltreatment seriously
The uncomfortable truth about working with small children is that sometimes they tell the truth, and sometimes they don’t. But, day cares are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. Every claim of misconduct should be taken seriously, even if you think a child might be fibbing.
Moreover, day care workers have a responsibility to ensure that their colleagues are behaving appropriately. If you see a coworker doing something that isn’t right, speak up.
If you or your day care is being accused of maltreatment, it is important to get help from an experienced attorney. Your career and your freedom could be on the line.