Illegal daycare operations are statewide issue

News Center 23
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POSTED: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 8:33am

Some day care operations in the Valley are illegal. They're being run out of homes and it's part of a statewide problem. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is targeting these places in the hopes that they'll become legal.

"We'll work with you, we'll start the process with you and we'll carry you on through there," said Texas Department of Family and Protective Services child care licensor Bianca Diaz. "And that's what we're trying to get...we're trying to get the message that we want to keep all children who are in out-of-home care safe...in a safe environment."

"As a parent myself, I would really want to ensure that my child is in a place where they have met all of the requirements by the state, and especially that they've met inspections for the city - they have the health code, city code, fire inspections," said Smarty Pants Kids Academy founder Liza Gonzalez.

But many times, the parents who send their children to these day cares are not even aware that these centers aren't regulated.

Obtaining a child care license and registering with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services isn't considered to be a difficult process. However, many illegal daycare owner don't take these steps because they aren't even aware that their businesses are illegal.

"A lot of people offer services for friends or neighbors and, um, they don't know that there's a department that regulates these kinds of child care settings, so that's usually why we have illegal daycare centers," said Diaz.

But while these illegal facilities may be cheaper or more convenient for parents, officials say it's best to make the sacrifice to ensure your child's safety.

"I know it's an easy way of saying, well daycare is just...you know right now it's just the means and we haven't gotten approved by the government assistance or whatnot, but no amount of money is going to bring the life of your child back," said Gonzalez.

Reporting in Cameron County, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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