Would you go to a dentist who had a revoked license? Would you get your nails done at a salon who had been cited for unsanitary conditions? Would you take your car to an auto repair shop to get new brakes if you'd heard negative things about the mechanic's abilities to repair vehicles? I'm guessing your answer would be no to each of these questions.
And yet, how many know parents who continue to send their kids to daycares with questionable safety issues, unqualified staff, citations or past revoked licenses? How many parents actually check the licensure of a center or in-home daycare or know what a particular state mandates regarding such licensure issues?
When it comes to child care and finding a reputable, safe, loving, educational environment for a child, parents should accept nothing but the best. Just what is "best" may vary from family to family based on location, curriculum, schedules, cost, etc. as I pointed out in yesterday’s post, but "best" in terms of safety, sanitary conditions, licensure, staff qualifications, etc. is easier to pinpoint.
Each state sets out very specific regulations regarding just about every aspect of a child care facility's physical building, meals provided, schedules, toys, care in general, first aid, diaper changes, ages and ratios of children provided for, staff experience and requirements, and on and on. Not much is left to chance.
Click here for a list of state requirements, based on each state's laws as listed on OwnADaycare.com. Another resource for licensing and other information on child care is the National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) site under the Administration of Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
These laws are in place simply to protect children in the care of such child care facilities. At times, the detail of the laws may seem silly or trivial or even difficult for the parents to follow. Case in point: DH complains weekly about having to write the Darlings' names on every single food container, baggie, package or cup that goes in their lunch boxes; and sometimes forgets to label EVERYTHING. I remind him of why this is important; i.e. other student's food allergies, but it still irritates him as he packs the boys' lunches.
Of course, the state is not able to constantly monitor the goings on of every facility on a daily basis. Each state does conduct regular inspections of licensed child care facilities, but in between these checks, the state relies on parents, staff or other observers to report any concerns.
Are these state requirements enough to keep our kids safe? How do you keep tabs on things going on in your kid's daycare or preschool? Over and out...
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