Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Child Day Care in Washington State; Parent Appreciation Day and How to Be Like Your Favorite Detective

I have a particular high regard and appreciation for parents who in spite of the fight and against all odds go the distance to find justice for their children. Little ones who were treated unkindly, who were emotionally traumatized, who were injured, sexually used and molested, little ones who were maimed in licensed child day care or worst of all died as a result on being in day care.

The government system of oversight is flawed and is set up to hide information from parents. What the government and private agencies with whom they contract put out is misleading information on their websites contrary to clear laws the legislature enacted (in Washington State, for example).  I have emails showing the Attorney General's Office advised them that the law was a "shall" to post revocations and suspensions on day care facilities where children were injured or where the violations of law required revocation. The Department of Early Learning casually and cavalierly ignored the law and the Attorney General Office's legal advice on the law.

Unfortunately, as history shows the regulated become the favored client in government oversight and that is the history of licensed child day care as well. 

Parents are at a disadvantage calling in a complaint to the government or its contracted agencies like Child Care Aware. Parents are stonewalled and given inaccurate information even as their gut feelings, their intuition told them the true story. As a former child day care licensor who blew the whistle on the government in Washington State, I have for the last ten years helped parents (and a few providers) get a measure of justice.

Sometimes parents took on the system themselves through the courts and sometimes parents found the high quality law firm that helped them get justice for their child. The biggest part of the story in standing up is that in the future their children will know that mom and dad went to bat for them against a seemingly insurmountable wall of injustice that makes up our government bureaucracies. 

To quote Erin Brockovich whom I had the honor of meeting: "If you believe you're right...stand up and fight for your place in the sun. If you believe you can do it, hang in for the whole 15 rounds because even if you don't win, you will have earned the respect of everyone in the fight, including, yourself and in that sense you have prevailed."

 For parents: The day care has called. Informed you something happened to your child. The more vague the stronger your intuition becomes. Become like your favorite detective, who, what, when, where, how and to what degree or extent. Get the names of staff on duty, when they arrived, get attendance for the day and in your child's classroom. Which children were there, what were their ages? Were any children in need of extra attention prior to the something that happened to your little one? Where were each of the staff at the moment of the "something happened"? Get statements in writing from each staff member, the managers and directors about the something that happened.  The required state form for accidents can lead to vagueness on such a form. Do not depend on that. Parents, you get details, you have a right to know. You have a right to know the details of the day, how it unfolded, leading up to the moment that the something happened to your little one.

Parents are welcomed to email me to get support around what questions to ask. Write Margo at

With over 20 years of successful  government oversight and now 10 years as an national independent expert witness and analyst regarding child day care licensing as well as teaching courses on recognizing child abuse, child safety, child guidance and observational skills I bring quality focus, comprehension and cogent thought to civil lawsuits, administrative hearings, to parents, grandparents,
to the legislature and the general public on child day care.

Contact me at

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