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Make Sure Kids are Safe at Day Care

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RALEIGH — North Carolina is one of only a handful ofstates that keeps track of deaths and injuries of children in day carecenters. But that doesn't mean it's always easy for parents to findout where their kids will be safe when left in the care of others.

Anne Caspar spends a lot of time giving parents tours of her day carecenter and answering their many questions. She says when it comes tomaking day care decisions,the more questions you ask, the better off youare.

In North Carolina, day care providers are required to let the stateknow when a child is injured and has to see a doctor. In 1996, 1,746children were hurt in North Carolina Day Care centers, but parents and thestate don't know where problems are because day care providers aren'trequired to put their names on accident reports.

Jeanne Marlowe of the North Carolina Division of Child Development saysthe state didn't want day care operators to feel the reports would be usedagainst them.

On the question of whether parents should have access to thatinformation, Marlowe says it's a subject that might be discussed now.

Currently, if a child dies while in day care, it is mandatory theprovider has to notify the state within 24 hours. The state has toinvestigate and the investigation report goes in the provider's permanentfile.

Checking the files paid off for Lisa Misrok. She says she found outone prospective day care provider wasn't even registered.

You can access a day care provider's file by going to the NorthCarolina Division of Child Development Office.

Photographer:Bill Jensen

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