Lack of child-care records puts Minnesota kids at risk

  • Article by: BRAD SCHRADE and JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 30, 2012 - 6:23 AM

Minnesota lags in posting data on licensing problems, safety violations.

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fishrapMay. 29, 1210:52 PM

These daycare owners need to be held criminally responsible for their actions.

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maryjfb73May. 29, 1211:26 PM

I remember when I was looking to move our infant twins to a different daycare. Most were filthy. One claimed they didn't smoke while daycare was going on, but the entire place stunk like cigarettes. One the woman couldn't get up and had one of the little kids close the door, which flew open whenever there was a gust of wind. Before I visited potential daycares, I asked all the questions recommended and spoke to the childcare resource woman, who advised me to be very careful when interviewing and choosing a daycare. She was so insistent about it, it was almost like a warning. When I got home after visiting the above daycares, I looked them up for any violations and found nothing. I'm really glad the StarTribune is running this series; people need to be aware, and violations need to be reported. There are some good ones (we have 2 on our street) but you really need to research, trust your gut, check references, and find out as much as you can about the daycare. Drop in if you can; we found out a lot by doing that.

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fishinmusicianMay. 30, 1212:31 AM

When did the state start licensing baby sitters and how did Mn children survive before that?Lets not turn a few bad apples into another bureaucratic nightmare that pushes daycare costs further away from the workers who need their services.

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Thumper5316May. 30, 12 6:12 AM

Stay home with your kids. Problem solved.

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tandabussMay. 30, 12 7:45 AM

Thumper5316: You forgot to add this: Be middle or upper class and well educated so you can afford to live on one income.

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marathongirlMay. 30, 12 7:58 AM

This is again a partial report and seems to be just aiming to put in home daycares out of business...or scare people into the centers that are more expensive (and are they union??). There are limits to the number of children that a daycare provider can have, if they said there were too many young ones for the person to look after, well then that's on the state to set the regulations so that there aren't too many kids for the person watching them (yet there are no regulations to how many kids a person could have of their own that they have to watch on their own which makes you wonder). We have no statistics on what caused any deaths, what caused any injuries and what the kids are allowed to do in homes versus what they aren't allowed to do in centers. Kids will be kids and will get hurt. At home or in day care. And as others have said, you do interviews, you check references and you follow your gut. Or you stay home or don't have kids.

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TKapaun3May. 30, 12 9:16 AM

Thanks Marathongirl, you are right. This series of articles should make people ask questions as to why they are being published now after the union vote was denied. First of all, is this a push to get providers forced into unions? 2nd - Where are the statistics on children that are dying or being abused at the hands of their own parents in their own homes? and 3rd - Why is there no responsibility on the part of parents to make sure the child care they choose is safe? I have been a provider for over 12 years, I have had many children come through my doors and my main priority is their safety. What I find to be reality though is that the first question I am asked when a family calls me for care is "how much do you charge?" They don't ask about violations, they don't ask about my license, they don't ask how many kids I have in my care, they don't ask my policies on sleep habits, etc. etc. They want to know how much I charge and if it is not what they want to hear they move on to someone cheaper. It also is interesting that the same families that don't want to pay much for child care (for their most precious children) also want you to provide formula, extra clothes, a per-school curriculum, and field trips and pay nothing extra. I would love to see the Tribune write an article on what responsibility parents have when they look for child care for their children! How about an article on the great providers that are out there and the reality of how much it costs to keep a child care program running - food, water, electric, craft supplies, toys, cribs, sleep mats, etc. etc. and how often as providers we go without pay because parents "forget their checkbook" on payday or ask us to hold their check because of other bills that were priority for them instead of their children! Meanwhile, these articles have brought me to the point of cancelling my subscription to the Star Tribune!

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butnugetMay. 30, 12 9:29 AM

Why no investigation into the problems at the big factory daycares? I have been hearing stories for years about the violence, guns, drugs and innatention at these places. But, the big chains have full time spin staff lying to the public, and a phony association doing PR for them--so they don't get inspected. Picking on small business is the norm, as usual

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basia2186May. 30, 1210:35 AM

So these supposedly licensed (by the granny state of mn) daycare homes are inspected by state employees. When complaints are received they go to another level of state gov't for investigation and then the folks from both "levels" of gov't. don't talk to each other? This is why I am sick and tired of state government. Incompetence.

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rickbmnMay. 30, 1210:37 AM

The STRIB just cannot let this go since unionizing in-home daycare was rightly defeated. Like a company on a mission, but the mission is not to REPORT the FACTS, its mission is to shape public opinion to effect a particular outcome. This is pathetic, but selective and partial reporting is what is expected form this liberal rag. I'll bet many (if not most) in-home providers know more information about the kids and families than the "chain" daycares do. Here's a tip: interview your provider beforehand. Drop in now and then to see how things are. It is, after all, YOUR child (children).

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