A daycare owner was arrested Thursday after a 2-year-old boy was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital, where he later died. Authorities say the owner, Vicki Chiles, does have a daycare license from the state. So how does a parent know who's a good provider or a bad provider? We talked to another provider who runs a child care business out of her home. She says there are no easy answers, but the News On 6â€™s Steve Berg reports she does have some advice.
Susan Eckelt says her prayers go out to the family of the little boy who died.
"It was horrible to hear something like that to happen," said Eckelt."You usually ask what could have been done differently."
She says Oklahoma actually does a lot already. For example, she says in Oklahoma, state inspectors make three surprise visits to daycare providers per year. Some states only have one visit per year. Some only visit if there's a complaint, and some have no visits at all.
"In fact, I have traveled nationally quite a bit and Oklahoma has been held up as having some of the highest standards for licensing," Eckelt said.
She says one of the best things parents can do is make their own surprise visits to their daycare provider. She says a provider should be happy to have parents come by anytime unannounced. And she says parents should ask lots of questions about their provider even if they seem silly or intrusive.
"They'll ask a lot of times more about the care of their car," said Eckelt."Where are the questions about their child care?"
Eckelt says providers are required to have 20 hours of training each year. She says it might be good to add anger and stress management to that or psych screenings. Her biggest wish would be for more inspectors.
"I certainly think that more funding for more licensing workers would be more beneficial," she said.
Of course she says look for the provider's license and other credentials. Although if what police suspect in this alleged crime is true, a license might not mean that much.
"It's not a guarantee,â€ Eckelt said. â€œThere's no guarantee of quality. Again, it's up to the provider."
State files on licensed daycare providers are public record, including any complaints that have been made against them. You can make an appointment with state officials here in Tulsa to look at your provider's file.
Watch the video: Keeping Up With Your Daycare Provider
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