I recently read an article that stated that the New Jersey governor had just signed into law a bill that requires home day care workers, and anyone living within that home, to undergo a background check. (Read article here)
I’m totally amazed how behind the times some of these states are and I think it’s archaic not to have laws already in place within every state to protect the children that attend home day cares. Federal laws were established a long time ago to protect the children who attend preschool and daycare centers. These federal laws require that anyone who works with children (care givers, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, etc.) must undergo a background check. Every individual’s name and fingerprint goes through three different data bases:
~ Criminal History
~ Child Abuse Registry
~ Sexual Offender Registry
Go Ahead and Burn Those Bridges
We had a parent in our preschool who while she had a son with us, had to enroll her baby in a home daycare because we had no room. She expressed her concerns about being uncomfortable with the home daycare that her daughter was in. She said there were always unquestionable people going in and out of the house and it made her uneasy. Although she felt uncomfortable with what she saw, she didn’t want to say anything because she didn’t want to burn her bridges. We didn’t miss a beat and told her better to burn bridges than to have harm come to her little one. You need to always trust your gut feeling. If you are that uneasy then there is probably a good reason!
What You Can Do
If you are considering placing your child in a home day care, check your state licensing agency to see if they require background checks on the individual running the home daycare, as well as everyone that lives in the home or helps with the children. If not, you may want to research other home care facilities. Getting recommendations from other parents who have sent their child there is always a great idea as well. Other options may be hiring a nanny or finding a facility-based daycare center. The bottom line is. . . do your research and see what feels best for you and your child.