Absent? Running late? Human error? There are many reasons that a child may not arrive at a child care center as expected. But now an Assembly bipartisan bill creates a safeguard to ensure the safety of children.
This law requires a parent/guardian to notify the childcare center if their child will be absent that day. And if the childcare center does not receive this notification, they must immediately attempt to get in touch with the parent/guardian to question the child’s absence.
Assemblywomen Aura Dunn (R-25) along with Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) and Annette Quijano (D-20) are co-sponsoring the legislation.
The goal of this legislation is to protect children. Childcare center employees interact with their students daily, and need to be aware that something may be amiss.
“We can’t let our guard down while the coronavirus upends normal routines,” said Dunn. “Many of our safety nets have disappeared because of disruptions to our schedules. Having an additional layer of communication in the event something seems amiss in a child care setting is common sense when it comes to the safety of little ones.”
Why is communication between these two parties a necessity? It may prevent an avoidable tragedy.
“In particular, this communication is critical in the rare instances in which a parent or guardian leaves a child in a hot car because they are tired or distracted, oftentimes thinking that their child was already dropped off at childcare,” said Vainieri Huttle. “By ensuring consistent communication between families and childcare providers, we can help to bridge a gap that very well may save a child’s life.”
Identifying a dangerous situation is also something that childcare workers are trained to do.
“This law will cement a practice that puts the safety of children on the top of our priority list,” said Dunn. “During the state of emergency, parents have declined doctor visits and reports of child abuse to the state hotline have decreased. We know that the issues of abuse and neglect haven’t disappeared, but we certainly have less eyes on our children than we used to.”