Local News

Day cares aren't required to have insurance

Posted July 21, 2009 5:31 p.m. EDT

— The attorney for Chapel Hill parents whose 7-month-old son suffered brain injuries – allegedly at the hands of his day care provider – said Tuesday that he is concerned that there will be no way for his clients to be compensated.

The reason, John McCabe said, is that the state does not require day cares to have insurance.

"You and I are required to have insurance to go drive a car, but these day cares that are responsible for caring for our children aren't required to have insurance at all," he said. "So, in our case, we don't know whether or not this particular day care had insurance."
Police arrested Cheryl Alston, 53, last week on a charge of felony child abuse after physicians diagnosed the child's injury.

Orange County sheriff's investigators declined to elaborate how the child was injured but said it was "intentional physical harm that caused the condition."

The family has filed a lawsuit against Alston, the owner of Cheryl's Infant & Toddler Preschool, at 202 Jubilee Drive.

Alston, who is out of jail on a $60,000 bond, declined comment Tuesday, referring all questions to her attorney, who could not be reached for comment.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirmed there is no state insurance requirement for day cares, other than auto insurance, if children are being transported.

Local zoning laws can require insurance for a day care, but Orange County does not have such a requirement.

McCabe said the boy was in the hospital for five weeks, underwent two surgeries and suffers from vision loss.

The state has suspended Alston's day care license.