Keep Children Safe in Child Care

Earlier this week, I was honored to participate in a panel discussion at Child Care Aware of America’s Policy Symposium about the important role that parents play in advocating for improved safety and quality standards in child care centers and family child care homes. Vicky Doughterty (pictured with me), of Pennsylvania, shared her story of how her 17-month-old son, Warren, died after suffocating in an outdated and defective crib at a family child care home. Vicky has become a passionate advocate to help prevent other families from suffering a similar tragedy: Pennsylvania state law does not require that child-care providers have inspections before becoming licensed, and inspections of family child care homes are only conducted for a random sample of 15 percent of registered homes each year.

Kim Engelman’s 13-month-old daughter, Lexie, died as the result of an accident when she was left unsupervised in a child care home. Shocked to learn about the lack of regulations in her state, Kim fought for the passage in 2010 of Lexie’s Law in Kansas, which includes comprehensive safety and quality requirements. Certainly, caregivers can be loving and trustworthy, but they also need proper training and guidelines to follow.

Read our article, The Child-Care Crisis to learn more about how you can help improve child care for all children, and send a letter to your members of Congress as they consider reauthorizing the Child Care & Development Block Grant and strengthening minimum protections for children.

Child Care Aware just released its latest rankings of states’ child care regulations and oversight. Only 16 states address the basic health and safety requirements recommended by pediatricians. See your state’s ranking.

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