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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Home Daycare Dangers How to Choose a Safe Place


In the news, this week is a story about a kid who molested young children in his home, where his mother runs a daycare. This is called an in home daycare or home daycare provider. People bring their babies and toddlers to this home for her to watch their children. The incident on the news described how her teenage son molested young children in her care while she was napping.

When you are in charge of someone’s children, you are responsible for their safety while they are in your home. That means you do not leave them in the care of a husband or older child. This article will discuss important questions to ask your daycare provider. It is never too late to ask these questions, even if you currently use a home daycare or in home daycare provider.

Please consider the following information when you drop off your children. Will anyone be in charge or care for the children besides yourself? What will happen if you need to leave in an emergency? Who will watch the children in your care during that time? How many other children or people live in your home? Is your home licensed by the state? Do you own a gun? Are there any firearms in your home? If so, how have you secured your weapons?

In addition, to asking these questions, check online to see if there are in any lawsuits filed against your daycare provider or any of the adults living in the home. Unfortunately, children 17 and younger have their cases sealed. In Missouri go to Google and type in Missouri Case dot net, and search for the last name and first initial of the day care provider. If a common name, you may need a first name or middle initial.

Valuable information is available on Google. Try it for yourself. Use your first and last name, try it with or without the state you are residing. Next try using the first part of an email before the (@) sign. Leave off the email identifiers like Gmail, yahoo, Hotmail dot com. Spokeo dot com is a site that will provide information for a nominal yearly fee including information about landlines and cellphones.

Consider signing a contract with your daycare provider about who will or will not care for your child. For a few dollars in Missouri, a background check is available at the Missouri State Highway Patrol office. Always request and call personal and professional references provided. When verifying references ask did you have any concerns while your child was there and why are you no longer using that daycare?

People will downplay concerns and gut feelings when it comes to situations like in home daycare providers. Listen to your inner voice and follow your heart, if it does not feel right then look elsewhere. Infants are especially vulnerable as he or she cannot speak out if something is happening. If you find your child has an injury that they did not have before you left them in the morning take a picture with your cell phone and include the date and time.

If toddlers suddenly seemed frightened or anxious when dropping them off at your daycare provider, you should be concerned. Yes, there is separation anxiety at certain ages, but if your heart is concerned then listen. In the book, Predators: Ped0philes, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders by Anna Salter, the majority of adults did not listen to their toddlers when they told their parent someone did something to them. They would confront the adult who would (shockingly) deny anything happened and let the incident drop.

Finally, if something happens do not ignore it, and simply pull your child from that provider. Please report it to the authorities. If there is a pattern then it increases the chances that the authorities can make a case against the person. If you simply sweep the situation under the rug, you place every other child at risk that goes there now, and in the future.

If you play the “what if I am wrong game?” and say it would not be fair to report this because I have nothing conclusive to provide. Think about this, “what if you are right?” and say nothing. Imagine the horror if years later you hear on the news you were right. I ask, “Can you live with that news?”
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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