Steps to determine if your daycare provider is safe

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – At least 4 times in that past 18 months a child has died at an Iowa daycare facility that was previously warned about overcrowding.

In-home daycare provider, Holly smith says, “It’s heartbreaking, it really is.”

After almost a decade as an in-home daycare provider, Smith says she’s horrified to learn about the recent deaths at Iowa daycare centers.

“It’s shocking to me,” says Smith.

To prevent these tragedies, Smith says all registered daycares undergo routine safety checks from the Department of Human Services.

Smith says, “I know what I go through. We have at least three unannounced visits a year and they’re thorough.”

Along with routine checks, state officials also regulate the number of children a provider can safely care for and require providers to carry several certifications.

Smith says, “We have to have CPR first aid, mandatory reporter, you know, we have to have trainings.”

To find out if a daycare provider you’re considering or currently using has ever not been in compliance with the state’s regulations, it’s as easy as going to the department of human services website, searching the provider’s name and a report of their violations can be found.

But not all in-home daycare providers can be searched. If the provider is watching 5 kids or less, Iowa does not require them to be registered or regulated.

“That to me is babysitting. They don’t have to have CRP, first aid, that’s just not safe in my eyes,” says Smith.

According to Smith, most legitimate daycare providers will have an open door policy. Stopping by unannounced is another way to determine if your child is with someone who is safe.

“Always, always ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for certifications. Look at their wall as see what’s posted. Determine for yourself, are they really a registered childcare home?” says Smith.

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