It’s a strange sentiment, but defrauding taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars was definitely the least terrible thing a particular chain of daycares was doing in New York City.
A recent probe of nine daycares in the Brooklyn and Staten Island areas revealed that the company that managed them was committing hundreds of acts of fraud against the city and state. The daycares were reporting serving dozens of children who not only didn’t attend, but didn’t even exist. Management was inventing children and billing the state for providing services to them. The fraud went on for years before it was discovered, and the state has no way to know just how much money was lost.
If it had stopped there, it would have been a terrible thing. Fraud is a terrible crime. But when investigators actually moved on the buildings, they discovered the conditions were so bad children were much better off not to attend. Violations included:
- Employing individuals whose credentials and backgrounds weren’t verified, and who might not have been using their real names
- Allowing exit doors to be blocked by garbage, preventing children from leaving during an emergency
- Leaving rat poison lying around and not cleaning rat droppings
- Locking doors to prevent children from leaving
Though this is obviously an extreme example, it is important to remember how little we actually know about those who provide care for our children while we are working. This is especially true of those of us who are reliant on government assistance to help provide this care, as the government does not always have the resources and staffing to make sure that these businesses are on the up-and-up.
If your child has been injured while attending day care, it is important that you hold accountable those who were at fault. Sometimes this means going after the day care itself, but sometimes there are others in a larger chain-of-command who are also negligent. If you suspect that anything terrible has happened to your child, contact a qualified attorney who can help you determine just what went wrong.