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Child Care Changes Underway

Posted by Jennifer Ortega | July 30, 2012 / 04:27pm | Local News
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) - Day care operators are watching the process closely. Mississippi has proposed new health and safety rules that could take affect as early as this fall. "I'm seeing some positive changes and some changes not so positive but you know they are regulations so we have to abide by them," says Owner Lauretta Tucker of Tucker's Play and Learn.

 Over the last few years, day care owner Lauretta Tucker has made several modifications to her facility. She says being a private owner can be tough, because her revenue stream is inconsistent. "We had to make the classroom more open which sometimes called for us to maybe take a wall down... The operative word is funding, they have funding and I don't. With me being a private owner, all my funding is as the parents come in that are able to pay for child care," adds Tucker. With new health and safety rules being proposed on a state level, day cares are making sure they're up to date on the new guidelines.

 State health officials are strongly considering tighter regulations on things like, how much television a child watches, or where babies sleep. "It's just a safety thing, you know, those cribs sometimes you can tell that your worried about them locking, if they don't lock each time because once they do get old enough to start pulling it up, they could fall," says Bonny Foreman, Child Care Director at First Baptist Church.

 Some facilities have installed cameras in each room to insure that children are always properly cared for. That kind of equipment can be expensive. "I do feel like some of then are good changes, some of then are going to ve expensive changes, you know, I can see for a private child care center that are just in home, but they are for the safety of the kids," added Foreman. Some day cares are already well ahead of the rules changes, but others are worried that the new rules will cost them money at a time when dollars are hard to come by. The goal is, of course to do what's best for children and making sure that Mississippi meets federal safety standards.
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