Recently I have found myself beyond saddened by the news reports of child abuse at the hands of less than qualified caregivers. As a stay at home mother of five, I find the stress of taking care of multiple children can be at times overwhelming. I could never see myself losing my temper to the point that I would hurt, humiliate, or even kill any of them. I can only imagine that you out there are just as, if not more, appalled at these acts reported on the news. I am sure that you are also asking the question, “Does this seem to be happening a lot more lately?” Perhaps the way the media plays on the human psyche causes those who can relate to the situation to be more aware of these reports. Either way, it’s sickening.
I am from a generation where if the mother had to work, the grandmother and many times grandfather took care of the children at home. Now that times have changed, grandma is too young to retire, and grandpa can’t afford to, so parents are left looking to outside sources for child care. Having worked briefly in child care myself, I shudder to think about leaving mine in the care of another. Realistically speaking, you have to understand one golden rule; NO ONE is going to love and care for your child like you will. I don’t care how much they put on a show in front of you and make you honestly believe they could take your child in as one of theirs, understand that if your child can’t speak, you will never really know if their intentions are true. They could be the greatest person in the world, or they could completely destroy your life. Trust me, I’ve been in the situation of needing a sitter or losing my job, but common sense kept me from calling up that guy I met in the club last week and asking him to watch my 2 year old daughter or leaving her with my neighbors’ 12 year old who is also home alone. Ok, so those are some simple scenarios everyone should know. Here are some statistics that you should also think about. Home day cares are required to be registered anytime when more than one non family member is being taken care of in the home and can only have up to six children. Registration however is not the same as licensing. Registration requires no sanitary or fire regulation, nor does it require any of the caregivers to be First Aid/CPR certified. So keep in mind, just because Ms. Smith down the way has been taking care of kids for years, doesn’t mean that she’s qualified or fully prepared to. Accidents catch us all off guard, but preparation for them reduces the chances of a tragic outcome.
These laws are in place to help you know who is taking care of your child. Utilize them. Create a file on the child care facility that you choose. In that file request a copy of their child care license as well as the state and federal background reports on all adult workers in the facility or home. With their license number you can run periodic checks to see if any reports have been made against them and you can keep track to make sure the license stays up to date or acquires any violations. I know this sounds excessive, but trust me parents, times have changed. If you can’t take care of your child yourself, and you have to trust someone else, give yourself more piece of mind really knowing who they are with. If your child chokes, will they know what to do? If there’s a fire will they be able to get out? Are you sure this person doesn’t have a history of violence? Ask yourself these questions and more parents. Real child caretakers will not be offended if you do. So keep it real, and keep them safe.
For more information on South Carolina Child Care Regulations visit:
For those of you not in South Carolina, Google Child Care Regulations in your state.
All questions and comments can be sent to her directly by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.