Is Your Day Care Licensed? Governor Hopes So
Day care centers in Virginia are getting some support from Gov. Terry McAuliffe who wants public money used to help them acquire a state license.
McAuliffe plans to seek new regulations during the 2015 legislative session that could affect the nearly 2,000 day care providers operating in the commonwealth without a license.
He is earmarking $2.7 million for 28 additional licensing staffers to handle the extra workload.
“This is a commonsense thing we can do at the state level to protect our children and keep our families safe,” McAuliffe tells the News and Advance.
Three children in Virginia died this fall from injuries commonwealth officials say occurred at unlicensed in-home day cares.
Currently, Virginia classifies day cares as "licensed," "unlicensed (but regulated)," and "approved." To learn more about each of these and how they are regulated, check out this guide provided by the commonwealth.
State laws vary, so it's best to check with your local jurisdiction.
If you're looking for a local day care provider, here are a couple tips for ensuring quality care on an ongoing basis:
Make surprise visits
Parents should always have the right to stop in unannounced to check on their children. This is an effective way to see what happens when parents usually aren't around.
Hopefully, there won't be anything that raises a concern, but if there is, it's better to know.
Pay attention to your child
Signs that a child may not be thriving in a particular facility or with a certain caregiver may include mood changes, anxiety or withdrawal. For children who can talk, it's a good idea to occasionally ask if he or she likes day care.
Communicate with staff
Communication is key to establishing a good relationship with care providers. If a parent has a concern, he or she should speak up in a mature and professional manner.
Be persistent with your questions
Trust your instincts. Be sure to address any issue or concern you have with the caregiver and/or managers. Be ready to remove your child from any situation you deem suspicious or unsafe,