Turns out, felons can work in day care
We're wondering how many parents were thrown by our colleague Rebecca Catalanello's story this weekend on the number of ex-felons who have been considered rehabilitated and allowed a second chance at working as child care workers. This bit of largess is unknown to the parents who turn their children over to these child care centers and home day care providers. There's a good tips box at the end of Rebecca's story, with the questions to ask and where to look for the backgrounds on your child care provider.
One couple I know had some almost comical stories of their nanny search that included people who gave non-existent references or failed to level with them about their work (or criminal) history. The highlight, or low light, was when my friends were trying to figure out why one nanny candidate had waited so long to apply. In doing checks on her, they found the answer: She had been arrested on an Internet sex charge for being part of an online brothel. It would have been funny -- she could have helped the kids with their Web skills, right? -- if it weren't so frightening. How many people do not check references or inspection reports or criminal histories?
The vast majority of people who work in child care are good-hearted people who can be a working mom's best friend. But doing a little research can save you heartache. If you scroll to the bottom of this story here, there are links to help you research arrest reports, criminal histories and other resources. Thank you Rebecca and Darla Cameron, for providing a very useful list!
Meanwhile, Rebecca reports in her story that lawmakers are looking into closing this loophole or at least finding a way for parents to be aware of their caregiver's past.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne