xiv Introduction By setting a framework for how you can legally and ethically re-
solve conflicts with families and staff, we hope this book will reduce the
stress that comes with worrying about legal matters. Confidentiality,
hiring and supervising staff, health and safety, child abuse and neglect,
and discrimination are among the topics.
We identify, analyze, and offer solutions to potential legal dilem-
mas using case studies to address the legal and ethical issues involved.
Sample policies, procedures, and best practices will help you gain con-
fidence in resolving each challenge.
We hope you will be relieved and informed, challenged and as-
sisted, in creating ways for you and your center to avoid potential
lawsuits. This book is directed primarily at those working in out-of-home
settings caring for young children. However, family child care provid-
ers will find much of the content relevant, particularly if considering
working at out-of-home early childhood education programs at some
point. This book was a collaborative project, but we each took primary re-
sponsibility for writing five chapters. Holly Elissa wrote Chapters 1, 4,
6, 8, and 9. Tom wrote Chapters 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10. Although our writing
voices are different, we hope this enhances, rather than distracts from,
the book’s readability.
THE LIMITS OF THIS BOOK
This book offers practical advice in an accessible manner. But it is not
a substitute for a lawyer. We neither assume you are an expert on legal
issues nor that you want to be a lawyer!
Disclaimer: The information is made available in this book with
the understanding that the authors and publisher are not engaged in
rendering legal or other professional advice. If you require legal or pro-
fessional assistance, engage the services of a competent professional.
This book was published in 2012. Federal and state laws referred to in
this book may change over time. State laws can also vary from state to
state. Before taking action you may want to consult with an attorney to
learn about the specific laws in your state.