The number of infractions some local daycares receive from Child Care Licensing may shock you. But those details are not something that are kept secret anymore...in fact parents are encouraged to log on and look into where you're leaving your child during the day.
Greg Cunningham with Child Protective Services tells us, "The best daycare will really look at this as a resource, this is how we're gonna look at the minimum standards. It's a complex business, there are a lot of issues out there."
And these issues have a direct affect on your children.
This new system shows weighted infractions from high risk down to low risk with detailed narratives included...so you'll know exactly what the investigator saw and heard while at the facility.
There two particular daycares with numerous deficiencies marked as high risk.
ABC Learning Center has two locations in Amarillo. During inspections it was found the children were left unsupervised...physical force was used during a timeout...a caregiver was yelling at the children who then began crying...soft pillows were left in the crib of a six month old...and a child was never picked up from their school and brought to the center.
In all, the list included 35 high risk level deficiencies. The owner of ABC told me was she was "understaffed and didn't have time to talk to me."
Next...Imagination Station where 15 high risk level deficiencies are found on their report. There, an investigator found a particular employee failed a background check and they should not have been allowed to work there. Physical discipline was used against a child...a caregiver threatened a child with no lunch if they didn't behave...children were left unsupervised throughout the building...and doors to the outside were not blocked or locked.
I called to speak with Trent Morgan the owner...and he tells me, "It is very important to sit down with every parent and look at the report together and go over every incident. The report does not represent our fine daycare."
Along with the website, Cunningham says the best thing to do is follow your parental instincts, "The step that so many skip and I don't understand they don't go out. Before you put your child, go out, look around, use common sense. Does it smell good, do the other children look happy or are they just in the corner while the workers ignore them."
But parents are encouraged, don't look at the number of infractions...look at the type of infractions.
Cunningham tells us, "It's not the end all be all because there alot of daycares that had infractions, a few daycares shouldn't be disqualified. Look at the infraction and ask ok what did you guys do."
It is important to note that every daycare in Amarillo had a list of deficiencies...as Cunningham says check the type of deficiencies before deciding to place your child in their care.