Local News

Day Care Workers Are Often a Child's First Defense

Posted April 13, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A daycare workers job goes well beyond keeping children occupied and feeding them. Many times they are the first to spot signs of abuse.

In a recent Raleigh case, a day care worker saw indications of abuse in a 5-year-old girl and took her to a hospital. Raleigh Police Lt. Dennis Lane says the worker may have saved that child's life.

Investigators say the child was severely beaten by her mother's boyfriend, Frederick Rouse. He is still on the run from police.

Brenda Sanders, executive director of Raleigh Nursery School, says day care workers need to know what signs to look for in children.

Sanders says with the changing nature of families today, and with more parents working, day care providers are often the first to notice and to report abuse.

By law, day care workers are required to report any abuse they suspect to authorities, but Sanders says often, they will first try to talk to parents to determine if there is another explanation for any injuries. Sanders adds, however, that the safety and interest of the child always comes first.