We follow ADA, not IDEA. We are not required to follow IEPs or 504s. However, they help us immensely in making the student successful in our programs. A majority of parents do not share that their child has a disability; however, if they do, we will pursue a waiver from the district to obtain the IEP/504 documents and speak with the child’s teacher(s). This is a wonderful document from the U.S. Department of Justice that explains how ADA is interpreted in the realm of childcare.
Recent Court Cases in ADA
–Burriola v. Greater Toledo YMCA, 133 F.Supp.2d 1034 (N.D. Ohio 2001): This set of facts is a great case study for daycares and special needs children. Eight-year-old Jordan Burriola was enrolled in a YMCA-affiliated after school program. He had been diagnosed with autism, and it manifested in various ways, including violent and destructive behavior toward himself, other children, and at least one staff member. Despite his mother’s efforts to pay for and coordinate training and communication between YMCA staff and other adults who had worked with Jordan, the YMCA essentially made no effort to implement suggested supports for him. After Jordan’s enrollment was terminated, his mother brought a successful lawsuit against the YMCA. The court found that the proposed modifications would not fundamentally alter the program, that they did not create an undue burden, and that Jordan did not pose a direct threat to others. It is important to note here that much of the court’s analysis focused on the YMCA’s failure to implement supports; a daycare program does not have to tolerate any and all behavior, but it does need to make accommodations and modifications for some children before claiming those children simply cannot be enrolled anymore.
–J.H. by David H. v. ABC Care, Inc., 953 F.Supp. 675 (D. Md. 1996): Eight-year-old J.H. (courts often use initials only for minors to protect anonymity) was enrolled in summer camp and after school programs with ABC Care. He exhibited various violent and destructive behaviors throughout his time with ABC Care. Though he had apparently been tested for ADHD several years prior to these incidents, he had not actually been diagnosed with ADHD, and his parents apparently refused to have him tested again until after his expulsion from the program. He was expelled from ABC Care’s program and was shortly thereafter officially diagnosed with ADHD. ABC Care then refused to readmit him, primarily because there was simply no space for him. The court found that neither J.H.’s initial expulsion nor ABC Care’s later refusal to readmit him violated the ADA. J.H. was not a student with a disability when he was expelled, ABC Care had a legitimate reason for not readmitting him separate from his disability, and J.H.’s parents had been unhelpful and even willfully difficult at times throughout the entire process.
Is latchkey a good fit for my child and family? We are currently piloting a new optional program called “Preview” that will help parents answer that question. This program will enable any child to try the program without any cost to the parent. Depending on the circumstances and if space is available, Dublin Latchkey, Inc. will select the time frame for the trial. Upon completion of the trial, Dublin Latchkey administration will meet with the parent to discuss any concerns of either party. If the child demonstrates program readiness and there are no concerns from the parents, the child may be entered into the program and consequently start paying tuition.
If the child is not ready for our program (for example, by demonstrating any behavior listed as potentially dismissible, listed here), we can set a date for another trial in the future. The Preview program is a risk-free way for parents and children to explore our programs without losing their current childcare or any financial investment.
Prices can be confusing due to the variables in the amount of time and registration fees. However, per hour we are by far the most affordable in the morning in relation to all other districts (ODJFS and ODE licensed) and lowest for ODJFS licensed programs in the afternoon. Programs who are licensed by ODJFS cost more to operate due to their regulations.
- A majority of our staff are from the Dublin area and typically fall into the categories of students, stay at home moms with kids in high school/ college, and post retirement second careers. We also have a several DCS paraprofessionals, people in support positions, or cooks who work for us to complete a 40-hour week.
- Our organization has a turn over rate of less then 7% in a market of low unemployment at 3%. Typical turn over rate for our industry is 30% but in a low unemployment economy near 40%.
- 70 percent of our staff are working toward or have college degrees.
- Prior to the first day on the job, each new staff member undergoes a background checked with the BCII, FBI, sex offender registry, professional development and a week at one of our training school sites.
- Licensing requires three-hour courses in CPR, first aide, communicable diseases, and child abuse, every three years. In addition, each staff member is required to have 6 hours of PD each year.
We employ a 360 evaluation approach with our organization. As a part of this approach, we send a parent survey out every 18 months. With exception of a few people, 97.18% of our parents felt our programs were good (26.6%) to excellent (70.5%). One of the biggest request was to extend the hours and operate when school is not in session. Homework help and snacks were also mentioned frequently. We will be working to address some of the common themes and educate the parents on our current program practices.
Most parents reach out to DCS because their child has been dismissed from our programs. We do not dismiss lightly and so many parents are worried, frustrated and angry they are in this predicament. Often Dublin Latchkey was their last hope. Some parents call DCS in hopes to keep our services or call seeking retribution. Unfortunately, once a child has become unsafe in our programs, it would be child endangerment to put a child back into a known unsafe environment.