Thursday, 15 March 2012
Guest post from Elizabeth from www.rockabyeparents.com
There are so many things to think and worry about when it comes to being a parent. For some of us one of those things is child care. We do our research. We get recommendations from family and friends. Many go online and search the names of caregivers. We also trust the rankings and licenses given to the day care facilities by our states. But, do we really know the people caring for our children?
Dateline recently aired a new episode about day care facilities and the people that work at them. What they found was that many states didn’t stop people with a shady past from working at day cares. They found a day care staff member that had left her own child alone in a sweltering hot car, a staff member that had beaten her own daughter, and even someone that had shot and killed their own husband. These should not be the type of people that states allow to watch our children.
The Mintens used the regular checks when choosing a day care for their two children. At first their son loved going to day care, but as time went by his attitude towards it started to change. He would cry when his mother dropped him off at day care. She was concerned by her young son’s behavior, but everyone told her separation anxiety was normal, so she let it go. Then they got a call that their son had had an accident. It turns out that the caregiver had duct taped their sons hands and face to keep him from misbehaving. He fell, hit his head, and ended up in a coma. Sadly he did not survive. The parents later found out that the police had been investigating the caregiver for years for child abuse, but the state had let her continue to run her daycare, and had even given her a good ranking.
When applying to work in the schools I had to be fingerprinted and have a background check run. Had something bad come up on my record I would not have been allowed to work at any school. All parents would expect this from the schools, so why would states allow anything less for their day care facilities? The Hansen Files found that only 11 states require comprehensive background checks of day care employees. Really, less than 25% of the states in our country care whether the people taking care of our children have criminal records or not?
As parents we should not stand for this. Our children our precious to us. I know that my little guy is everything to me. Even watching the report was upsetting because the thought of someone I trust hurting my child makes me ill. Some of us work because we have to, others because we want to, but no matter how you feel about working you should be able to go to work knowing your child is safe and happy.
When choosing a day care do your homework and research all that you can. Go to different online background sites and run multiple searches. Do unscheduled drop in visits. Do all that you can to find out who you are really leaving your child with. If nothing else this report has taught us that we need to listen to our instincts and not blindly take the advice of others when it comes to something so important as our children’s safety.
To view Dateline's list of warning signs and information on how to research your day care facility go here: http://nbc.clientmediaserver.com/dateline_daycare/index.html
You can watch the episode here (they don’t go in order, so you do have to jump around the listed clips): http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/the-hansen-files-investigates-day-care/6784gw6?cpkey=6a80dd4a-e70d-4295-9dc0-68b6178e3035||||
Did you watch this episode of Dateline? What were you thoughts?
If this is your first time hearing about this, same question, what are your thoughts?