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M. Brandon Smith
M. Brandon Smith
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Texas Day Care Licensing Needs Reform

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With more and more two-parent households needing both parents to work outside of the home, and more single-parent households being created, the number of young children in daycare is rising. We trust daycare providers to create a safe environment for our children, and to make sure our children are safe when we cannot watch them ourselves.

And while many daycare centers are reliable and staffed by trained professionals, we cannot always guarantee that our children are safe, as a recent incident in Dallas/Fort Worth shows.

On Halloween 2008, A 2-year old girl ingested a rock at the Woodbridge Day School, and choked on it for several minutes before any day care staff noticed that anything was wrong. Due to the delayed reaction in helping the girl, she ended up dying. According to this story by CBS 11 News:

A records check shows the daycare has had two deficiencies in the last two years. One was for not documenting infant feeding instructions. In another incident, a child told a worker he or she was in pain and instead of looking into it, the worker told the child to tell their parent.

Woodbridge was found negligent in allowing the little girl’s death to occur.

The fact that the daycare already had deficiencies in its record, and it had not looked into correcting them is troubling. What is even more troubling is the fact that, under a Texas daycare law loophole, if the current owner of Woodbridge wanted to sell his establishment to a new owner, then all of the previous owner’s regulatory violations and deficiencies would be wiped from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services‘ website, without necessarily having to replace a single employee, even if those employees lacked the proper qualifications or training.

This law is dangerous, and can make it very difficult for working parents to find a genuinely safe daycare center to place their children. We need to work to hold lawmakers and daycare owners accountable for their actions, so that loopholes like these don’t end up costing more children their lives.