The ABC's of daycare safety

April 10, 2009 3:03:23 PM PDT
A Philadelphia daycare worker has been charged after being seen on camera manhandling little children in her care.It was a story that has gotten a huge response on Action News and 6abc.com.

It happened at "All About Kidz" daycare in Olney.

RELATED STORY: Children abused at Olney daycare

So, what should parents looks for when choosing a daycare?

Like most parents, Cindy Clark found that video from the All About Kidz childcare center disturbing and frightening.

Her 3 year old boy attends the Children's Village Child Care Center in Center City. But, she did a lot of research before enrolling her son.

"The teachers have been here for five, ten, 20 years which is unheard of in childcare, so that's very comforting," Clark said.

Although there are certainly no guarantees, there are some things parents should look for.

Make sure the child care center is licensed. Caregivers who are watching 6 children or less in their homes are NOT required to have a license. They are only required to register with the state which means they are inspected much less than licensed facilities.

With centers, look for the Keystone star rating. One star meets basic requirements, 4 stars goes above the those basic guidelines the facilities' teachers have more training.

Children's Village executive director, Mary Graham, says the most important thing is to ask questions and observe.

"Go in and spend time, talk to other parents," Graham said. "What is your feeling, do you see staff interacting with the children?"

A spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Childcare Association, or PACCA, told Action News the alleged abuse at All About Kidz would have been difficult for the child care center's owner and managers to prevent.

RELATED LINK: Pennsylvania Childcare Association

The spokesperson added that the center handled the situation in an appropriate way by immediately firing the employees.

The Pennsylvania Childcare Association says no parent should sacrifice their child's safety or well-being because of cost. There are child care subsidies you can apply for so your child has the option of going to a high quality child care center.

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