Children's home care-providers—what is the magic and safe number of children to watch?

Parents, Legislators, and Family in-Home Providers: Be observant and questioning, seek the best care for children. Support Nathan's Law this Legislative Session!

Currently, if a home-care provider has more than four unrelated children, she must be state licensed, maintain certain adult/children ratios, and meet minimal licensing standards for safety and health. Sounds reasonable, but this number does not include any children who are related to her (grandchildren, her own, nieces, nephews, etc.). So she might have 10 children in all, six related children and four more. It is a challenge to provide appropriate care for four or six children, think about 10.

Also, think about how many children, including infants and toddlers can you provide quality safe care, while enriching their lives. 

In 2007, Nathan was 3 months old when he died from suffication during a nap in a portacrib. The caregiver was supervising four grandchildren and six other children. Even though she had two more unrelated children than she should have, the state was unable to shut down her business. 

Nathan's parents have advocated legislation, Nathan's Law, for four years. It was defeated three years ago in the Legislature. Last year it was stripped of all meaningful requirements and Nathan's parents took their son's name off of the bill. This year Nathan's parents are looking for legislators to co-sponsor the bill, but with the compromise that caregivers do not have to count Kindergarten or elementary age children.

It is time to act! If the Legislators will not take responsibility for children, please let parents be observant, questioning, and selective—seeking the best care for their children.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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