As parents, we make incredibly important decisions on a daily basis whenever it comes to our children. We choose the doctors they see, the foods they eat, and the soap they use to wash themselves. just to name a few. Whenever it comes to childcare, this can be one of the most important decisions to make, because of the trust and loyalty between caretaker, parent, and child. We go through great lengths to choose the right care for our children, so when they do us wrong it is nothing short of devastating.
Chesterbrook Academy Preschool in Moorestown, New Jersey did just that to the family of a child with Down Syndrome. According to NBC News, the national day care provider has agreed to pay the family of the 3-year-old girl with Down Syndrome $18,000 after one of its southern New Jersey facilities expelled her for not being potty trained.
According to a press release shared on Wednesday, by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the facility had told the three-year-old's parents that she needed to be potty trained by a certain date, which was not met.
Even though this is a common practice for some daycare's to require children of a certain age to be potty trained before entering their facility, this child, however, was clearly an exception to the rule.
The incident, which happened back in March of 2015, resulted in the little girl being completely kicked out of the daycare for not abiding by the request. According to the settlement agreement, her parents had provided the facility with medical documentation outlining that toilet training was more challenging for children with Down Syndrome. Still, the daycare proceeded to remove her from the program.
The press release stated, that the daycare justified their actions based on their parent company's, Spring Education Inc., corporate policy, stating 3-year-olds in certain classrooms have to be fully trained. However, this didn't specify Special Needs children.
After this happened, the parents filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, who then proceeded with an investigation that lead to a lawsuit in January 2017 against Spring Education Inc. This lawsuit alleged that the New Jersey daycare violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it "refused to modify its standard toileting policy" for the child and then expelled her "on the basis of her disability."
Not only did the family receive $18,000 in the suit, but the company was also ordered to pay the United States a $30,000 civil fine and change its policy on potty training to one that provides "reasonable modifications for children with disabilities."
“With this agreement, we ensure that children with disabilities attending SEI’s daycare facilities in New Jersey and across the United States receive the protection to which they are entitled under the law," U.S. Attorney Carpenito said in a statement.