Posts Tagged ‘ child care ’

New Improvements for Child Care

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In a welcome piece of good news from Washington today, the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed major new regulations to help protect children in child care centers and family child care homes. “Many children already benefit from the excellent care of high-quality child care providers who are meeting or exceeding the proposed requirements,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “However, too many children remain in settings that do not meet minimum standards of health and safety. These basic rules ensure that providers take necessary basic steps to shield children from avoidable tragedy.”

I met recently with parents whose children had died in child care because these types of regulations did not exist. These parents have been working to help make sure that a similar tragedy wouldn’t happen to other families, and their advocacy has paid off. Child Care Aware of America has led the charge for safety and quality improvements, and we’ve been privileged to partner with them on their efforts. Most parents would be shocked to learn about the current minimal standards.

For all child care providers who accept federal funding through the Child Care and Development Fund, the new regulations would require:

  • Health and safety training in certain areas
  • Compliance with state and local fire, health and building codes
  • Comprehensive background checks (including fingerprinting)
  • On-site monitoring

States would also have to post information online for parents about health, safety, and licensing. The proposed regulations will be open for public comment for 75 days.

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Keep Children Safe in Child Care

Friday, April 12th, 2013

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(pictured with me), of Pennsylvania, shared her story of how her 17-month-old son, Warren, died after suffocating in an outdated and defective crib at a family child care home.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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Improve Child Care For All Kids

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Child care often costs as much as college tuition, and 87 percent of Parents readers who use child care told us that finding affordable quality care is either a challenge, very hard, or simply impossible. The facts in our recent article, “The Child Care Crisis,” are eye-opening.

Although we’ve heard a lot about our “do-nothing Congress,” watching this video of a Senate subcommittee hearing about child care gave me some hope. The Chairwoman, Democrat Barbara Mikulksi, and the ranking Republican, Richard Burr, had nothing but kind words for each other. They both said that it was time to make improvements to the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the legislation that authorizes Federal subsidies to states for child care, which hasn’t been updated since 1996. “It is absolutely crucial that we make a national commitment that safe and quality child care is available everywhere,” Senator Burr insisted.

After all, no matter what party you’re in, children should be a priority. As Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said recently: “The worst time to work together on a bipartisan basis is right before an election. The best time to work on a bipartisan basis is right after an election.”

Parents is partnering with Child Care Aware of America on a letter-writing campaign to advocate for new standards like these that will protect children at child-care centers and in family day-care homes:

  • Comprehensive background checks for all caregivers
  • At least 40 hours of initial training and 24 hours of annual training for caregivers in health/safety and child development
  • At least one unannounced inspection per year
  • Required state license for all centers and day-care homes of any size
  • Results of inspections and violations posted online
  • Quality rating systems for centers and homes in every state
  • An increase in the percentage of federal funds reserved for quality improvement

Please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress!

Photo courtesy of Child Care Aware of America

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Before Meningitis Outbreak, Firm Avoided Sanctions
The pharmacy tied to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak that has raised questions about oversight of the customized drug mixing industry, newly released state records show. (via Reuters)

Standardized Child Booster Seat Laws Would Save Lives, Study Suggests
State laws that mandate car booster seat use for children at least until age 8, are associated with fewer motor vehicle-related fatalities and severe injuries, and should be standardized throughout the U.S. to optimally protect children, according to new research. (via Science Daily)

One-Third of Parents Concerned About Losing Jobs, Pay When They Stay Home With Sick Kids
Many child care providers have rules that exclude sick children from care, spurring anxious moments for millions of working parents. In a new University of Michigan poll, one-third of parents of young children report they are concerned about losing jobs or pay when they stay home to care for sick children who can’t attend child care. (via Science Daily)

Cheerleading Needs Sports Safety Rules, Docs Say
Cheerleading isn’t just jumping and waving pompoms – it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation’s leading group of pediatricians says. (via Fox News)

Most Women Can Wait up to 5 Years Between Pap Tests, New Guidelines Say
Most women can wait three to five years between Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer, according to guidelines released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (via Reuters)

New Breast Cancer Therapy Tied to More Complications
Women about to have breast cancer surgery may want to pay extra attention to the radiation treatment they could be offered afterward. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

The Facebook-Free Baby
Are you a mom or dad who’s guilty of ‘oversharenting’? The cure may be to not share at all.

Child Care Cost Hikes Derailing Women’s Careers
At a time when women’s issues have become a political football in the national arena, many states have been chipping away at funds aimed at supporting working mothers and families, even as federal subsidies are drying up and the cost of child care is climbing.

Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?
Styles of baby names, it seems, are nearly as different in various parts of the country as voting habits. More progressive communities, Laura Wattenberg says, tend to favor more old-fashioned names. Parents in more conservative areas come up with names that are more creative or androgynous.

Crib Products May Be Deadly, Experts Say
There’s a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying more and more babies are suffocating while sleeping, and they’re warning parents to keep cribs empty.

High School Teens Make “No Tanning” Pledge Before Prom
Students at Maynard High School in Massachusetts made good on a “no tanning before prom” pledge at the event last Friday.

Parents Beware: If Your Teens Party, You Could Pay the Price
States have different “social host laws” and under some of them, a parent can face criminal charges and hefty fines if an accident occurs as a result of any underage drinking at your home. Even if, say, you’re away on vacation and have no idea that anything is going down in the first place.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Repeat C-section May Be Safer Option for Moms, Babies
For women who delivered their first baby by cesarean section, delivering a second baby also by C-section may be somewhat safer for both mother and baby than a vaginal birth, a new study reveals.

US Mortality Rates Dropped, Biggest Decline in Young Children
The risk of dying at any given age has dropped sharply over the last 75 years in the United States, with the most dramatic improvement seen among young children, according to a new government analysis of mortality rates.

Early Childhood Neglect Has Negative Impact on Kids
New research shows that children who spend the first two years of their life watching more television than engaging with books, toys and people are more likely to have long-term effects including delayed language skills and a brain that’s not wired for learning and development.

Can Playing Maternal Voice and Heartbeat Sounds Benefit Premies?
A new study suggests that premies may miss mom’s sounds by being born early.

Fatty Foods Linked to Poor Sperm Quality
A new study, published online in the European journal Human Reproduction, found that men who ate diets higher in saturated fat had lower sperm counts and concentration than men who consumed less fat. But men who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids — healthy fats found in fish and plant oils — had better formed sperm.

Kids Can’t See Anti-Bullying Film Due to R Rating
Kids, the very audience who would benefit most from seeing the new documentary “Bully,” aren’t allowed to see it without a parent or guardian. The film earned an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America due to adult language.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Arsenic Found in Organic Baby Food, Cereal Bars
You may think you’re being extra-healthy when you chose foods labeled “organic,” but some of these products contain arsenic, a compound that may increase the risk of cancer, a new study says.

Pregnant at Work? Why Your Job Could Be at Risk
Not all employers wish their pregnant employees well: the number of pregnancy-related discrimination charges have jumped by 35% in the past decade.

Day Care: Good Care Benefits Kids 30 Years Later — And Moms Too
Research has shown that high-quality early child care can have a significant impact on children’s well-being, and now a new study in the journal Child Development finds that it’s important for Mom too.

US Doctors ‘Firing’ Parents Who Refuse to Vaccinate Children
US pediatricians fed up with parents who refuse to vaccinate their children out of concern it can cause autism or other problems increasingly are “firing” such families from their practices, raising questions about a doctor’s responsibility to these patients.

How Child Abuse Primes the Brain for Future Mental Illness
Now, in the largest study yet to use brain scans to show the effects of child abuse, researchers have found specific changes in key regions in and around the hippocampus in the brains of young adults who were maltreated or neglected in childhood. These changes may leave victims more vulnerable to depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the study suggests.

15-Minute-Old Newborn Gets Pacemaker for the Heart
The name Jaya in Hindi means victorious. And little Jaya Maharaj was just that, when she became one of the smallest recipients of a pacemaker when she was just 15 minutes old.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Child Care Cuts Force Hard Choices on Parents
For years, child care assistance programs offered low-income parents a lifeline. But state legislatures dealing with multibillion dollar budget deficits during the recession have been targeting child care subsidies as one way to help balance their state budgets.

Siemens Recalls Clinical Pregnancy Tests
Siemens has recalled 15 batches of clinical pregnancy tests because some of them incorrectly showed a positive result, a spokesman for the company said on Friday.

Parents Speak Out on Catastrophic Youth Sports Injuries
Earlier this month, medical experts and concerned parents appeared on Capitol Hill for a summit on young athletes suffering critical injuries on the playing field.

Idaho Teen With Cancer Trades Her Life for Her New Son
Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy the month before her 18th birthday, though she was not destined to become just another teenage mother.

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