POSTED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 1:04pm
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — There are over 200 daycare facilities in Cameron County, how do you know which one is best for your child? Which one has a clean record or which one is on the verge of being shut down?
Well, you do have an advocate, they're the protectors of your children, your eyes and ears when you can't be there, childcare licensing inspectors have the power to shut down a bad operation.
And some of those caregivers files, a very important piece of paperwork is missing, the number one deficiency reported across the state for 2012, "Staff that's either lacking background checks or are not renewing the background checks.'
Some have no record, no history, on who's watching your child, "A few of the other most common deficiencies rounding off the top ten, Supervision of children, hazardous areas, lack of good judgment and self control by caregivers, lack of annual fire inspection, child to caregiver ratios and building maintenance."
McGee says who's watching your child is just as important as the building they're watching your child in, from bad ceilings and water leaks to paint chips, these all pose as safety and health hazards.
Now if any of the 22 areas evaluated are cited as deficient a plan of action is put in place by licensing to help a daycare return to compliance.
A parent's best research tool, is the internet, a couple of clicks on the keyboard can pull up the real dirt on a daycare. Texaschildcaresearch.org has information on the over 200 daycares in Cameron County and around the state.
Reports filed by the licensing inspectors themselves, here a parent can see the most recent inspection report on a daycare and whether or not any deficiencies were filed and what kind, along with a detailed narrative.
If you don't have the time to sit at your computer, the daycare itself is required to provide the most recent inspection report. After you find the dirt on prospective daycares, you'll likely have a better idea on what facility is best for your child and one last piece of advice is to not enroll them in a facility just because it's right in front of you house and it's a center with a lot of deficiencies.