Daycare Issue

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My child attends a daycare 5 days a week. He has been there for about 2 years. He is now 3 years old and the Child Care director held a meeting with my wife and I today regarding Ryan's peanut allergy. The reason for the meeting was to inform us that they can not protect Ryan 100% of the time with his PA. And that a steering committee will meet in a couple days to determine whether or not to keep Ryan in the daycare. They have stated they have consulted a lawyer and will follow his advice. They also discussed our willingness to sign a waiver. BTW, the daycare has been aware of the PA for about a year and a half. Thank God he is NOT airborne allergic, but he is allergic if ingested or contact on the skin. Can they deny Ryan daycare services because of this allergy? Has anyone else ever created a waiver for daycare for their child? We are more than willing to sign a waiver as long as it stipulates the daycare try to follow some rules also. PLEASE HELP!

On Jan 21, 2002

Ryansdad - Reading your posting really angers me. To me, this sounds like discrimination. I believe children with PA are protected under the disability act (I will check into that). I have had several daycare issues. Fortunately now I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home. I finally gave up!! I really do not think they can kick ryan out of the daycare!! I am appalled that they would even consider it. If I were you, I might start looking for a new one, not to appease them, but to get your son in somewhere where people are more educated & able to protect our children.

On Jan 21, 2002

I found some information that you might find helpful. I can e-mail it to you but I'm not sure how to go about it. Let me know if you are interested. It is a daycare/questions regarding allergies & rights piece that I found from the Dept. of Justice.

On Jan 21, 2002

Please send me the information. That would be great.

It might be easier to post the web address in a reply. Thank you so much for helping.

On Jan 21, 2002

Sorry for the confusion, my wife's username is mom in SC.

On Jan 21, 2002

Hello! I will give you one of the better websites I found. It is [url="http://www.allergysupport.org/"]http://www.allergysupport.org/[/url] Go down to the links in red regarding food allergies. I was trying to find something that says children with PA are definitely covered by the American Disabilities Act; Section 504. From what I've read it looks like they ARE covered. Most of what I've seen pertains to schools/pre-school but also mentions other settings including childcare. I know there is a discrimination Complaint Form if you end up needing it later (got that going through yahoo search - "Disabilities Act Section 504" then down to #12 - Title II of the ADA/Section 504 Discrimination Complaint Form). If they end up trying to put him out or even discriminate against him you should really do some more investigating regarding this Act (Section 504). Most of what I have read only justifies taking kids out when they pose a threat to other children. This case is obviously reversed; but I can't understand why they don't feel they can keep Ryan safe. Sounds lazy to me! Good luck.

On Jan 21, 2002

By the way.........DON'T SIGN A WAIVER.

On Jan 21, 2002

There were several suits against KinderCare regarding PA and their non-compliance. This was prior to 1998, I am sure of that because my daughter was there for a few months after the suit and before her school started. But the key is the Disablities Act. While we don't always like to think of PA like that, it qualifies....

But your question is still, even after you win...do you feel comfortable with them?

On Jan 21, 2002

The Justice Department has a long handout with about thirty questions and answers pertaining to child care and the ADA. There is a specific question about the ADA and children with food allergies severe enough to require an Epipen. This handout will be really helpful to you; it was a life saver to me four years ago, but fortunately I no longer need it. The Justice Department has an ADA hotline (800)514-0301 which is fantastic. They will answer all your questions and fax you the handout. It is illegal for the daycare either public or private to refuse to accept a child with an Epipen; and to accept the child and then kick him out because of an Epipen is really the same thing. There was a preschool or daycare called La Petite which accepted a child with an Epipen, but said they would not learn to use an Epipen, they would only call 911. There was a $55,000 settlement against La Petite due to this and other issues. All this is in the handout. My daughter is almost seven, and I have "been there, done that." Her preschool director took her with her Epipen, then every time I blinked my eyes, the director threatened to kick her out because of it. I was always walking on eggshells. After more than a year of this, I obtained the La Petite settlement (it is public record), photocopied it, highlighted the relevant parts including the dollar amount, and gave it to the director with a short letter saying, "If you want to kick my child out because of her Epipen, go right ahead and here is what will happen". Boy, did that change things! She became very cooperative, never complained about the Epipen again, and our last year there was great. If only I had known I would have done it sooner. Anyhow, it doesn`t mean you have to do the same or that you will get the same result, but please do call the Justice Department. They will help you. It is illegal to kick your child out because of PA, and it is also illegal to have you sign a release. The part about the release I learned from FAAN (800)929-4040. Keep us posted. I am really rooting for you, because I know how horrible it is for the preschool/daycare to make these threats. Also, I learned the hard way, try to get everything in writing. If they tell you verbally that they may kick him out because of the Epipen, you have no proof. What I would do after having learned from my experience, is to write an innocent letter questioning why they would kick him out due to the PA. Hopefully, they will then write you back. Once they put in writing that they are kicking him out due to PA, they will have dug themself into a hole. I know that sounds terrible, but I found that being nice with the preschool made them walk all over me, and once I stood up to them, they backed off.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 22, 2002).]

On Jan 22, 2002

The questionairre referred to from carfulmom can be found at: [url="http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/childq%26a.htm"]http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/childq%26a.htm[/url]

The question is found on page 7 #19 and the case example is on page 11. It is worth reading.

On Jan 22, 2002

This is all great information. It's reassuring that the Dept. of Justice is on my side. I also like the advice that I should not sign a waiver. I have consulted a lawyer since yesterdays events and he gave me the same advice simply because there is no reason to sign a waiver. The child care has to follow the ADA. My wife and I have offered to provide training to the whole daycare staff regarding Epi-pen procedure. We have offered to provide all food for any activity like Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentines, Birthday parties, whatever. We are more than willing to do our share too. We find out on Thursday what their decision is. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for the support and the information.

On Jan 22, 2002

I haven't seen the information I posted. Here goes another try!! The information carfulmum recommended can be found at: [url="http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/childq%26a.htm"]http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/childq%26a.htm[/url]

The question is on page 7 #19 and the case is on page 11. This may be redundant but I haven't seen my post in hours.

On Jan 23, 2002

PeytonsMom,

We printed off the information from the Department of Justice and handed it to the Daycare Director. We told her she might want to look over it before their meeting tonight regarding Ryan. I will keep you posted as to what we hear from the daycare tomorrow. Thanks again.

On Jan 23, 2002

Good Luck!!! Whatever you do - don't sign the waiver! Looking forward to hearing the outcome. Amy

On Jan 23, 2002

We won't sign a waiver. NO WAY! A policy and procedure needs to be created not only for my son, but for any other child with an allergy that comes along in the future. We won't back down.

On Jan 23, 2002

Ryansdad - Looking forward to hearing the outcome. Good luck!!

On Jan 24, 2002

The director called us last night with an update from their meeting. No decision was made, they simply reviewed the situation and are leaving it up to their lawyer to decide what to do. She will continue to keep us posted. That is it! If we hear anything new, I will post an update.

On Jan 24, 2002

You know what I would do! I would fight until you got everything you wanted from them and then I would find another daycare! They obviously cant be trusted to do the right now - who knows what would happen in an emergency situation! Boy this whole thing really makes me mad!

On Jan 24, 2002

That is outrageous!! Well, don't give them anymore information. Let them do the work. I would talk to a lawyer about this situation because it sounds like discrimination regardless!! If they decide he cannot stay there I would DEFINATELY get a lawyer. Make sure you document all your conversations and all the dates etc. I have never taken legal action for any reason but have sat on several jury's so I know a little. If it's not in writing.....it didn't happen. Even personal notes to yourself; like a journal would work to document dates/times. I don't know how you feel about all this & it is up to you, but I would consider calling the justice department to see if this would be a legitimate complaint. I really don't think they even have a decision to make here. I mean people do have rights!!!! Are you going to keep him in this daycare? What type of place is it?? Private, big/small, etc?!?! Good Luck to you!

On Jan 24, 2002

This is a daycare at a church. I have some close friends that are lawyers, and have consulted with them. You are right Peytons Mom, this is a no brainer. The director did mention that they "do not want to discriminate against Ryan" on the phone last night so, I think they are aware of the magnitude. I am a pretty calm person and will not let this situation bother me. My view is that they have no option and this will be resolved. End of story. Another great thing about the ADA is that if there is a problem, the Department of Justice assigns counsel to our case free of charge.

[This message has been edited by RyansDad (edited January 24, 2002).]

On Jan 24, 2002

Maybe they are still having their "meetings" because they have realized they have already done some "wrong" in this case. I hope they HAVE realized that they cannot do this. It isn't fair to put the PA child or parents through this!!!! We deal with enough already. It sounds like they aren't really being "mean" about the issue so that is good. I would still question sending my child somewhere where they obviously don't want to deal with his allergy. I think some people are innocently ignorant!!!! I had a lady say one time "Oh here comes Peyton, everyone get rid of your food!!" This was a daycare (at a gym) where there wasn't suppossed to be food in the first place. I told the lady I would have NEVER brought her there if I thought there would of been food (I was told there was NO FOOD ALLOWED). I also told her she should think about what she said and how that can affect my daughter and others feelings of her. I mean kids can be mean. What was she thinking?!?!??!?! Keep me posted.

On Jan 24, 2002

Although you have been on this thread for several days..I have not seen it. I just want all of you to know that I laughed as I read how much information you guys have shared. This is a really an amazing story to watch unfold! I had NO IDEA that the Justice Department would back up a family like this! How wonderful! Thank You for the information! It is wonderful to see how parents working together can protect innocent children from being discriminated against. Kudos to all of you!!!!

On Jan 24, 2002

Ryan`s dad, I don`t want to disillusion you, but I have also "been there, done that" with the Justice Department, so I have to inform you how it really is. Yes, the Justice Department assigns council free of charge IF they take your case. That is a very big if, as they take a VERY small percent of cases. In order to decide, they look at two things: one, was the law broken, and two, does this case impact a lot of people. When I filed with the Justice Department after 40 preschools refused to accomodate my daughter`s food allergies and Epipen, they did take my case. I filed when my daughter was almost three. By the time they took my case, and I was one of the LUCKY ones, my daughter was over four years old and was in preschool. I went to some big building downtown and met with the Asst. Atty General. She was very sympathetic and was going to take my case. Then she got moved to some other position, and someone else moved to her position who was not sympathetic, and nothing happened. It is very hard to get the J.D. to take your case. They only investigated mine because 40 preschools had discriminated against us. However, I mentioned the handout put out by the J.D. about daycare and the ADA so you would be informed about the law, that the law is on your side, and so that you see an attorney if you need to. I found that once my daughter was in preschool, just knowing the law gave me a big advantage. It kept me and my daughter from getting pushed around. It is very unlikely, though, that the J.D. would take your case; they are too overburdened.

On Jan 25, 2002

I agree with Carefulmom: We filed with the US Department of Justice (civil right div.) and got a post card in return that basically said, "We are over worked and understaffed. Don't call us, we'll call you". That was pretty much the bottom line. I pursued it, but they accidently lost our claim and paperwork twice.

I gave up and contacted the state attorney generals Civil Rights Office and filed a complaint against the daycare. It took almost two years of "mediation" to get the daycare to agree to keep and administer the epipen! And this whole thing was about them breaking the federal law!!

Of course our daughter had moved on to public school by the time this was all finished - I just wanted to finish it so some other child would not have to go through this at the daycare/preschool.

Also, It your problem is with a church preschool/daycare I am not sure that they have to comply as they probably do not get any government funding.

Sue in Sunny arizona

On Jan 25, 2002

Peyton's Mom and Sue,

I was all motivated, feeling confident, standing proud, feeling good. Then you dashed all my hopes all at once. I'm just kidding. Because of the battles you have fought and won, it makes it easier for all of us other parents now. The daycare knows what the result will be if they do not abide by the rules (legal precedent has been set). This situation will be resolved way before the Dept of Justice needs to get involved anyway. I am sorry but I still have all of the confidence in the world. Have a fantastic weekend.

On Jan 25, 2002

I'm glad to hear that Ryansdad! I was hoping you would be able to meet on common-ground before having to take extreme measures. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon and you won't have to deal with any legal issues. It's not just the D of J that takes forever....it seems all legal matter do so what carefulmom & Sue have said doesn't suprise me. Still.....knowledge is power!! Keep your head up & keep me posted on the result. This will be a learning experience for them also & hopefully will help another child in the future. So have they finished discussing it & given you an answer or what?!?! It seems like it is taking them longer than they originally stated.

On Jan 25, 2002

Ryans dad, don`t apologize for having confidence about this. I`m glad you have confidence, and you should because the law is on your side. I just didn`t want you to have unrealistic expectations about what the Justice Department will do for you. You are still in a really good positon, as far as the law. Good luck and keep us posted!

On Jan 31, 2002

Ryan's dad - Just wondering if you ever had your issue resolved. I hope all is going well. Good Luck!

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