Crime Prevention Council Hears from Daycare Inspector
– September 10, 2013 11:01 am
WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Many daycare providers simply aren’t familiar with state laws when it comes to their businesses, according to an expert.
On Monday night, the Prince William Crime Prevention Council held its monthly meeting at the McCoart Building in Woodbridge. Along with the council’s monthly updates on crime prevention, bullying awareness and the safety of Prince William County citizen’s, the board listened to Daycare Licensing Inspector Linda Reynolds talk about the difference between licensed and unlicensed daycare businesses in Northern Virginia.
Virginia state law allows for a home based child care provider to watch up to 5 children plus her own at any given time without a state license. Reynolds explained that parents and citizens need to understand the benefits and risks of using unlicensed caregivers. Unlicensed home based day cares are not required to carry any insurance, follow any nutritional or educational standards, or have any emergency training.
“Seventy percent of the people I see are not evil, they do not want to harm the children in their care, they are unaware of the laws surrounding child care in Virginia.” Reynolds explained.
During the past year, Reynolds said that two major licensing cases received widespread media attention; one involved the death of an infant and the other overcrowding at a home daycare. In both instances, Reynolds pointed out that the Department of Social Services would have intervened had citizens reported the unlicensed daycare locations earlier.
“We rely on the public to report concerns in the community,” Reynolds said. “Our goal is to care for the most vulnerable populations- the elderly and the young.”
Reynolds went on to say that researching suitable childcare is also the responsibility of parents. The Department of Social Services maintains a website where parents can find licensed providers at: www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/cc.cgi.
After hearing Reynolds’ presentation, the council went on to list some upcoming activities for October.
On Oct. 5, council members will be at the Joe Gibbs Country fair with coloring books and handouts for area children and on Oct. 6 members will attend Sears Safety Days in Manassas.
For more information on Prince William Crime Prevention Council Activities visit: www.pwcpc.org/2013-meetings–events.html.