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Letter to the editor: How regulated must day care really be?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 12:01 am

As a 14-year employee of a local registered (not licensed) day care ministry (which, as far as I know, does not receive any state or federal funding) I would like to weigh in on the day care regulation debate. The arguments that I have seen twice now seem to indicate that day care ministries are not at all regulated.

However, since I have been employed here, our facility has been inspected twice yearly by Indiana state inspectors, who inspect our playground, bathrooms, kitchen, sleep areas, diapering areas, play areas, toys, cupboards, closets, carpeting, water temperature, laundry facilities, bulletin boards, electrical outlets and lighting. The state fire marshal also pays us an annual visit. New employees undergo background checks, and, again soon, we will be required to be fingerprinted at a cost of $39 each.

All employees are required to take yearly CPR, first aid and universal precautions refresher courses. If we work with infants under 12 months, we must be at least 21 years old and are required to take yearly safe-sleep instruction (I’ve taken it so many times that I, probably, could teach it). Twelve hours of continuing education? At whose expense? I earn less than $10 an hour.

Most of the women with whom I work have neither the time (due to family obligations, school or second jobs) nor the funds to participate in more than the above mentioned required annual instruction. We maintain the same staff-to-child ratios as licensed facilities. We try very hard to comply with the ever-changing regulations within the limitations of the physical aspects of our building. How much more regulated would you like for us to be?

Kathryn L. Simpson, infants teacher, and Laurie Stuckey, day care director, Children’s Corner Daycare, First Presbyterian Church