The world is opening again as Massachusetts has lifted its coronavirus-related restrictions, but COVID-19 has not totally disappeared. Instead of providing safety guidelines for businesses like daycares, the state of Massachusetts has put the planning and execution of COVID-19 policies into the hands of early education providers and childcare centers.
Handing off the implementation of COVID policies to daycares is the latest breach in the industry’s insufficient governmental regulations. A startling number of injuries occur at daycare centers due to cost-cutting measures and human errors. If your child is put in danger or injured at a daycare, the Boston personal injury attorneys at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C. are here to help.
The Plan Or Lack Thereof
As COVID-19 restrictions expired at the end of May, Governor Charlie Baker also ended the mask mandate. Among these expired COVID-specific constraints was the COVID-19 Child Care Playbook, eliminating the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) minimum requirements for health and safety.
In place of government regulations, childcare programs have been asked to develop their own policies to prevent the spread of the virus. The EEC’s website did offer a broad list of suggested strategies to handle COVID prevention and response.
Some of the state’s suggested strategies include:
- Continue targeted cleaning practices
- Increase fresh air ventilation and circulation by opening windows and outdoor activities
- Isolate symptomatic individuals
- Maintain a consistent visitor policy, limiting unvaccinated visitors
- Modify health and safety practices for special populations
- Monitor symptoms and stay home if sick or exposed to a COVID-positive person
- Promote frequent hand hygiene
- Promote physical distancing and smaller groups when indoors
- Track community risk of exposure and positive cases with state reporting structure
- Usefully vaccinated adults as floating staff between groups
- Use the Department of Public Health’s testing and return to care protocols
The EEC began in-person program monitoring in July. The EEC also recommends mask-wearing for unvaccinated educators and staff as well as children ages five and older when unable to maintain physical distance. Children do not need to wear masks nor maintain distance when outdoors.
The EEC reports they will update the suggested strategies to help keep daycare policies up-to-date and encourage programs to monitor the CDC website for further guidance.
When Should I Contact A Lawyer?
Daycare laws and standards are there to protect children. These regulations include:
- A safe ratio of staff and educators to children
- Adequate food and water
- Proper attention to each child
- Safe and secure facilities
Ensuring these standards often prevent injuries, but often, the negligence of childcare facilities results in injuries, ranging from minor accidents to severe emergencies. Even removing COVID risks from the equation, frequent daycare injuries still happen, including:
- Bruises, cuts, broken bones, and fractures
- Choking hazards
- Falls from heights
- Injuries from altercations with other children
- Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Colucci Colucci & Marcus, P.C. pour our attention into investigating the situation, finding the truth, and holding responsible parties accountable. Contact us for a free consultation or by calling 617-917-3917 to review your case.