Most states fail to protect children in family home day care settings


Child care provided in family home child care settings is one of the largest segments of the child care industry, with nearly two million U.S. children spending time in family home-based care each week. According to a new analysis of state regulations to promote the safety and quality of family home care, most states are dropping the ball on protecting the health and development of young children in home care settings.

A report and state scorecard published in late January by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) found that no state met more than 75 percent of optimal standards for regulation and oversight of family home care, with Oklahoma, Washington State, and Massachusetts receiving the highest scores. States were evaluated on 14 separate measures, including frequency and type of monitoring visits, background check requirements, provider education and training, quality of learning environment, group size limitations, and health and safety requirements for family home care settings serving six or fewer children.

The average state score was 59 out of a possible 140 points, and fifteen states -- including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia -- have no regulations assuring the safety and quality of family home care. Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA, states in a related press release that family home care settings "are really small businesses being run out of homes. With the security of nearly two million children at risk, it is crucial that states revisit and improve their regulations." The report recommends that Congress require comprehensive background checks for all adult child care providers who care for one or more unrelated children, and that the federal government withhold a portion of Child Care Block Grant funds from states with insufficient policies and oversight.

To find out how your state scored or to read the full report, follow the link below:

Leaving Children To Chance:
NACCRRA's Ranking of State Standards and Oversight of Small Family Child Care Homes

January 2008

NACCRRA has also added a fabulous interactive map with up-to-date facts and figures on child care needs and costs in each state -- read it and weep!

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This page contains a single entry by jstadtman published on February 3, 2008 12:17 PM.

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