By Robert Chaiken, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
“Parents can never be too careful when it comes to leaving their child in the hands of any child care provider, whether it is a day care provider or a home care provider,” CPS spokeswoman Shari Pulliam said.
The Child Care Licensing Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which sets and enforces minimum standards and rules to ensure the health and safety of the children, regulates both day care providers and home care providers.
Pulliam said that while unregulated child-care might be convenient and cheap, it is not the way to go. Unregulated day cares mean no inspections, no training, no enforcement of basic health and safety standards, and no records.
Furthermore, the director of Lufkin’s Comfort and Joy Preschool, Libby Wojasinski, said parents should know the difference between “listed, registered, and licensed child care providers” before choosing a day care center fit for their child.
Listed home and childcare centers for one to three unrelated children must submit an application and pass background checks. They are not inspected unless a report is filed claiming abuse or neglect.
Registered home and childcare providers for 12 children or more must meet training requirements and pass background checks. They are inspected every one to three years.
Larger licensed home and childcare centers must conduct orientation, regular training, and publish standards and inspections every five to 12 months.
The CPS website lists all Texas home and childcare provider information. Anyone can insert their zip code and research the day care center of their choice. When researching a day care center be sure to separate minor infractions from serious infractions. For instance, not having tweezers in a first aid kit might not be that much of a problem.
Wojasinski also recommends talking to other parents for information about childcare services. In addition, she says parents should walk in the actual day care centers, look around, and observe the atmosphere of the place. “Is it clean, organized, happy?” Are kids playing, interacting, and learning?
Last year, 1,800 reports of abuse or neglect were reported in the state of Texas alone. Out of these 1,800 reports, adverse action was taken in 524 cases. With so many childcare centers being reported for abuse or neglect, it is important for parents to research the childcare centers prior to sending their children there.
For more information, see CPS reminding parents to do their child care homework.