DEAR ABBY: I would like to weigh in on your response to "Day Care Drama in Indiana" (Sept. 1), whose neighbor screams at the children in her day care. I worked for 25 years investigating serious complaints, many involving verbal abuse, against day care providers for my state's licensing agency. It is critical for this reader to contact Indiana's licensing agency and make a complaint.
Verbal abuse is extremely damaging to young children, and parents are often reluctant to believe their provider would subject their children to such cruelty. Also, if your reader is hearing screaming, there could easily be hitting taking place as well.
If your reader were to approach the children's parents individually as you advised, they would likely discount him/her as a "cranky neighbor." However, if the licensing investigator were to pay a visit and interview the older past and present children, as we do in our state, the provider would be cited -- or closed down -- and the findings could be presented to the parents by an objective party. -- RETIRED BUT CONCERNED
DEAR RETIRED BUT CONCERNED: Thank you for correcting me. Many readers agreed that this situation should be reported immediately to the agency that monitors day care centers. To remain silent and allow the abuse to continue would also be child abuse.
Many also suggested contacting Child Protective Services and afterward following up to make sure this issue has been investigated. If not, the local police should then be notified.