Parents, are you sure your child’s daycare is licensed and running legally?
Unlicensed daycare care centers and providers have become a problem for many areas throughout the country, but state regulators in Texas have been putting the pressure on these unlicensed facilities as of late. State regulators have created a new unit that has the sole responsibility of seeking out daycare centers which do not have permits to operate. They are working toward shutting down those centers, but they must first locate them.
Handling the problem.
State regulators created a seven-person unit who will be looking for day care and child care centers that do not have the required permits. In July of this year, regulators in Texas crashed an illegal daycare center in Arlington. The unit went to investigate All My Youngunz after complaints that the daycare was operating illegally.
Illegal daycare centers are a big problem, especially in today’s economy when so many parents are having difficulty affording child care. These parents seek the services of people who offer cheaper child care than average. Of course, these cheaper rates often come with a price: the people offering them are not licensed, inspected, background checked or regulated! This was allegedly the case with All My Youngunz, where the operator was caring for seven children (including babies).
These unlicensed facilities are potential dangers simply because there is no one to oversee their operations. Many of the unlicensed child care facilities are in homes, but sometimes it’s possible to find them in other locations as well. What the regulatory authorizes are seeking specifically are facilities who do not have permits, have no training in operating a childcare facility, and have not been subjected to a background check – according to a spokesperson for the State Child Care Licensing Division of Child Protective Services.
The new unit seeks out violators through their ads on social media sites. They came across one person who offered to care for children in exchange for dental work while another actually placed an advertisement on Craigslist that she wasn’t certified but would do it anyway. She actually questioned how child care differed from babysitting which has no licensing requirement; the answer the woman received was that it is considered childcare when you care for children in your home on a regular basis for a fee.
Success rate of the unit.
Since the unit began operations in November of last year, they have closed 700 illegal child care facilities just in North Texas, and they expect to increase those numbers by the end of the year. While there are certainly some people who are intentionally trying to make some tax-free money by taking in children, some others may be unaware that they need to have a permit in order to take in children on a regular basis. This was allegedly the case for one woman who was taking care of 34 children. Apparently, she had seen an advertisement on television about taking care of children in her home and had no idea she needed a permit. The key is that you as a parent must do your homework when choosing a daycare for your child. You need to ensure that the facility is licensed, its workers are background checked, and that there is not a documented complaint history of daycare abuse or neglect.