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State Officials: National Day Care Chains Have More Problems

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RALEIGH — Police and child care officials are still investigating the North Raleigh day care accused of leaving a toddler alone after the center closed.

La Petite Academysays it has procedures in place to prevent such instances. But, state officials say the data show otherwise.

The StateDivision of Child Developmentsays its records show national chains like La Petite Academy have a higher number of violations than independent, locally-owned child care centers.

"They do serve more children, but even when you do the division of the number of children that they serve, based on the problems they're having, it's a little higher incident rate in the programs that are in large chains," says Fanjul, director of the division.

La Petite did not respond to calls Friday. But Kindercare, another national child care center chain, says one reason the chains may have more problems with compliance is because they are "more heavily scrutinized, more heavily regulated so [their] centers are visited more often by the state."

"It is true, however, that we visit programs more often if we get more complaints," Fanjul said.

Fanjul says money may have an influence on their findings. She says workers are typically paid less at chains, they have higher turnover ratios and as a result, they are less familiar to and with the kids.


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