Monday, March 23, 2009

Economy Forcing Houston Parents to Cut Costs in Child Care


One of the most important decisions that a parent makes is who will be given the charge of caring for her children while she is at work. What is the teacher to student ratio? How long has the facility been in operation? Do the workers know emergency first aid and child CPR? Are the caretakers certified, licensed, and bonded? Everyone wants to know that their children are safe and loved every moment of the time they are separated. However, the economic problems in our country have necessitated that some people cut corners even in the area of child care. More moms and dads are turning to unlicensed and unregulated day care centers or private homes as a way of saving money and, unfortunately, the consequences can be deadly.

Since January of this year, there have been four children in the Houston area who have died in centers that have not been licensed by the state. Three of the deaths have been of infants who were under the age of six months, one in the home of a woman who was watching eighteen young children. The fourth victim was a two-year-old whose tracheotomy tube was pulled out from her throat and whose caregiver had not checked on her in forty-five minutes.

Child care centers that are licensed by Texas Child Care Licensing, which is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, are required to meet a certain level of standards and are subject to regular inspections. All of these regulations, including first aid training, sanitation, and teacher backgrounds, make the running of such an establishment more expensive. In order to assist parents, there are scholarships and sliding scale payments available.

If you are a licensed day care facility and your credibility has been threatened due to charges made by a parent or a poor inspection rating, the attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. We have business litigation attorneys who are ready to assist you in keeping your good name. If you are an unlicensed child care provider and one of the young ones in your care has been injured or worse, you may need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. We also have licensing and board attorneys who can assist your facility with applying for licensing. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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