Tips for picking a safe home day care - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tips for picking a safe home day care

By Al Pefley email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Sheriff's investigators say 54-year-old Marcus Blanchard had a dirty little secret: He was molesting a half dozen kids his girlfriend was supposed to be babysitting in her home in suburban West Palm Beach.

Blanchard was arrested last week. His girlfriend never got a county day care license; even though, records show, she was warned in the past she needed one.

"Any child care in this county requires a licensure," said Courtney Shippey with the Palm Beach County Health Department.

Reporter asked, "Even if you have just one child?"

Even one child," replied Shippey.

One woman we found, Carolyn Damptey of West Palm Beach, is playing by the rules. She runs a licensed family day care out of her home. She feels licensing is key.  "You shouldn't want to just place your child with anyone anywhere. You've got to feel comfortable that your child is in good hands," Damptey told us.

To get a day care license, people, like Carolyn, have to pass home inspections by the county health department and fire-rescue, be trained in first aid and CPR, and get 30 hours of child care training at a community college. They also have to have a trained substitute who can fill in.

The applicant as well as all household members have to be background screened," Shippey said.

So, if you're a parent, trying to find a family day care home, how do you find one you can trust? Experts say, make sure they've got a license even if you know them.

"The license is the only sure indication that the home is appropriate and safe for your child. If they don't have that, don't even fool with them? Don't go any further," Shippey said. 

To see a list of the licensed home day cares in Palm Beach County, go to http://www.pbchd.com/.

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