This problem concerns Minnesota, but I’m sure the issue is nationwide, and it’s a pretty devastating one at that. A comittee recently reviewed mortality records for the state, and found that the number of child deaths has actually increased for in-home licensed daycare providers. Also, deaths of sleeping Infants have accounted for a whopping 75% of the 86 mortalities that have occurred since 2002.
The committee is recommending that childcare providers undergo more frequent and higher quality training that has been updated to reflect the findings in the report. They are also advising that safe sleep standards should be strictly adhered to, and a doctor would need to approve any exceptions a caretaker wants to make. The committee also recommended that childcare professionals who are found in violation of these standards automatically lose their license.
I can’t even imagine how the parents of affected children feel, as negligence has no doubt been a factor in some of the deaths. E.g. 1 in 10 was attributed to caretakers who were overextended, and as such there is also a push to decrease the number of infants and toddlers per caretaker. Unfortunately, I think that money is going to become more of a factor. I know a caretaker in the local area, and her going rate is only $100/week per child. Now I’m sure that number varies widely, but the point is caretakers are going to take on more than they should to make ends meet.
As far as background checking applicants or at-home providers, right now it’s not easy for parents to find information about inspections, etc. To help correct this issue the panel recommended that “correction orders,” be included in an online database for easier access by the general public. Liability insurance is apparently not required either and is being pushed to ensure parents aren’t the ones footing the bill for a caretaker’s mistake.
I tend to agree with child protection measures, but at the same time there has to be a balance between government regulation and the ability for people to take responsibility.
Categories: Child Care