Child advocates said several recent headlines should serve as a reminder for parents to research where they send their children to day care.
Brownsburg police said a 4-month-old died at an unlicensed home day care July 18.
And this week, a court order shut down Rebirth Christian Academy day care, a registered ministry state officials said was operating illegally.
Indiana has an unknown number of unlicensed facilities, 598 licensed centers, 2,875 licensed home, and 721 registered ministries, but child advocates said it's important for parents to know the difference.
For example, registered ministries are not licensed in Indiana.
"The typical registered ministry meets many fewer regulations," said Mindy Bennett with Child Care Answers. "They don't have ratios. They don't have group size requirements, things like that. It's like 20 regulations compared to 200."
Bennett said a licensed facility will post their license close to the doorway, and parents should ask to see it.
"All licensed facilities must post their license, so when you go in, you should see how many they're licensed for," said Bennett. "It's also going to tell you the ages they're licensed for."
Parents should also check to see if the day care is part of Paths to Quality, a voluntary rating program with rankings of Level One, meeting basic health and safety requirements, up to Level Four, which is national accreditation.
Bennett said while no day care can completely guarantee safety, parents can lessen their child's risk.
"Licensed child care centers have more people on site, there are more eyes on children," said Bennett. "They do have ratio requirements and they have group size requirements. Sometimes things happen in unlicensed facilities because they just don't think about it. Maybe they haven't been trained in safe sleep. In a licensed facility, they've been trained in safe sleep practices."
Research A Day Care
Search Inspection Reports
Day Care Checklist
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.