Thursday, January 24, 2008

State audit suggests harsher penalties for illegal day cares

State audit suggests harsher penalties for illegal day cares

Published Saturday, January 19, 2008
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Missouri officials need to increase penalties against people who operate child day-care centers illegally, a new state audit says.

The report, released Thursday by Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee’s office, said it found instances where the state Department of Health and Senior Services responded to repeated complaints about unlicensed day care operators without prosecuting them or ensuring that they were complying with state law.

Offenders can be fined as much as $200 for a first violation, and subsequent violations are treated as Class A misdemeanors. But the audit said such low penalties have had little effect on some operators who mightmake $100 a week per child.

It also noted that surrounding states charge much higher fines, including Nebraska, which charges operators $5 per day for each child over capacity, and Kansas, with a fine of $500 per violation per day.

In a written response, the department said it was collecting information on substantiated cases against illegal child-care providers and would use that data to determine whether increased penalties are warranted.

The audit also criticized state laws that allow children related to the operators of home-based day-care centers to be exempt from many licensing regulations.

For example, they aren’t counted against the 10-child limit for family day-care home centers or the 20-child limit for group homes, potentially allowing child-care centers to become overcrowded.

Also, related children don’t show up in child discipline or illness records, exposing other children to increased risk of abuse or disease.

Department officials said they tried to count related children toward licensing requirements as part of a 2004 wholesale change of child-care regulations but public criticism led them to shelve the entire measure. They said they will introduce new licensing rules this year focused solely on the related-children issue.

Auditors also found problems with how long it takes the department to complete investigations into complaints and refer them for legal action. For example, a review of 2,722 complaints found that 42 percent of investigations weren’t completed within the required 30 days, and 2 percent weren’t completed within six months.

Audit pushes for harsher penalties for illegal child care providers

Associated Press - January 17, 2008 6:14 PM ET

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new audit says Missouri officials aren't doing enough to stop people from operating illegal child day care centers.

State Auditor Susan Montee's office released the audit today.

It says current penalties for illegal day care centers are too low to force many violators to change their ways. Auditors also say that inspectors can't be sure that those who are caught don't continue violating the law.

The audit also criticizes state regulations that don't require children of home day care operators to be counted as part of the maximum allowed.

The Department of Health and Senior Services says it's gathering information to determine whether tougher penalties are needed. The department says it will try to change those regulations this year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

STLMoms: Bedtime Basics

(KTVI - -- In today’s segment, it's a disturbing statistic for any new parent, 2500 sudden infant deaths happen each year in the United States. Now, St. Louis Children's Hospital is launching a campaign called "Bedtime Basics for Babies." Dr. James Kemp is the co-director of the sleep lab at St. Louis Children's Hospital. He joined us on FOX 2 in the Morning.

Click to watch!

Mark your calendars!

SIDS Resources is hosting their first annual 5K in Forest Park this year! May 31, 2008 will be the big day! We'll be looking for volunteers for race day, and participants! More information to follow :)

Registration Form for Strides for SIDS 5K (PDF)
Donation Form for Strides for SIDS 5K (PDF)
Sponsor Form for Strides for SIDS 5K (PDF)
Sponsorship Benefits and Levels for Strides for SIDS 5K (PDF)
Sponsor Letter for Strides for SIDS 5K (.doc)
Volunteer Form for Strides for SIDS 5K (PDF)

Insurance Reminder!

If you have a child in daycare please make sure to check with your daycare provider on whether or not they have the proper liability insurance! Liability insurance in not a licensing requirement in Missouri!!! But, as you can imagine, very important when someone gets hurt - or worse.

If you run a daycare, please be responsible and call your insurance agent and discuss the best way to protect yourself and the children you watch.

View this PDF Child Daycare Associations for more info.

More Info:
Site Meter