When a child enters your life, it can be difficult to balance the responsibilities of being a parent with the rest of your commitments. That’s why many people turn to outside help to reduce the stress of being a parent. One very common way people get their children taken care of is by sending them to a caregiver. While caregivers can be great people for your children to spend their time with, you need to ensure that the caregiver you send your child to is licensed.
An unlicensed caregiver can be an unsafe person to send your child to. People are licensed as caregivers when they receive the proper training. They must also go through an extensive background check to make sure they are ok to watch over your children. This background check involves fingerprinting everyone who lives with them, checking if they have a criminal record, and making sure they don’t have any infectious diseases. The home where the caregiver is living must also meet basic safety standards.
It is very important that caregivers meet these standards and get officially licensed. It is illegal for a caregiver to take care of a child without a license. Not only that, but a parent could get in serious trouble for sending their child to an unlicensed caregiver. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is very strict about only having approved caregivers watch over someone’s child. It is important that parents research the people they are leaving their children with. If a child is left with the wrong person, that child could end up injured or dead. DCF takes this risk very seriously, and they will take away your children. According to Alexi Cardona of the Naples Daily News, a baby died while in the care of an unlicensed caregiver, which has led to a DCF investigation, and to the other children under their care to be taken away.
Also, according to Renee Madison of BabyGaga.com, there are many horror stories about children suffering, or even dying, while in a daycare. For example, there was a daycare owner in Waco Texas named Marian Fraser who would give Benadryl to the children under her care, so they would pass out and she could ignore them. However, multiple children got poisoned from this, and one of them died, which led to her arrest. Marian tried to claim that the parents gave her permission to give the children Benadryl, but they denied this. Another horror story involves a woman named Jessica Tata. She ran a daycare in Texas, and one day she went out to Target, leaving 7 children alone in her home. During this time, she had left a pot of cooking oil on a hot stove. The cooking oil eventually caught on fire, and 4 of the children in the home died. After this incident, “Jessica Tata then ran back to her home country of Nigeria, where she was extradited back to the US and received a sentence of 80 years.” (Madison). Another story of daycare abuse is when a 2-year-old was left outside in the freezing cold for 4 hours. A security camera showed that after all 16 children at the daycare were let outside, only 15 were let back in, and the 2-year-old toddler hopelessly waited outside. When her dad was told she wasn’t there, he searched for her frantically, and found her lying in the mulch. A daycare worker is quoted as saying “she must have miscounted.” (Madison).
Another example of daycare abuse is when a daycare worker in Omaha Nebraska named Lynn Rowe was caught on camera abusing one of the children for playing with her own hair. “The woman tells the girl to stop playing with her hair, then is seen slapping or punching the girl’s arm repeatedly until she cries and says “that hurt me”. Rowe can be heard on the video saying “Good! I hope it hurt you!”, then shakes the small child violently.” Another employee sent the footage to the child’s parent, who then called the police. Rowe proceeded to flee from Nebraska, she was picked up by police in Iowa, and was extradited back to Nebraska. Another story Renee talks about is when a 9-year-old boy attacked multiple kids at a daycare. This was caught on camera at the Kiddie City Childcare Center in Vicksburg Mississippi. The footage “shows the boy choking a child…, throwing punches at a little girl several times, and even biting and kicking.” (Madison). The daycare was criticized because the boy was not stopped, and the parents are wondering how he could have gotten away with this under the daycare worker’s supervision. Another story is when Shannon Smith, a daycare worker at Metro Daycare in Oklahoma, was arrested for felony child abuse because she broke a 4-month-old infant’s arm at a daycare. She was caught on camera jerking the baby’s arm when she took him out of the baby bouncer.
Another incident at a daycare is when Heather Koon, a daycare worker, raped at least 2 babies. She even filmed one of the rapes and sent the recording to her boyfriend. “She then tried to convince police that it was not her on the video raping the baby, but a video downloaded from the internet. Her plea was not guilty to the charges but confessed to the rape of 4 babies.” (Madison). Renee also talks about when Stephanie McPherson fractured the arm of a 5-month-old. She claimed it was an accident, but the child’s arm had to be in a cast for weeks, so investigators believe it was on purpose. The daycare was also operating without a license and was shut down when they went to court. An additional story is when Ashleigh Brooke Guin, who works at the Bethel Baptist Church in Moddy Alabama, was arrested for abusing a 3-year-old at the daycare. The child had scratches and bruises on them when they got home. There was even surveillance footage that shows another worker telling Ashleigh that she was being too rough with the child. One other story is when daycare worker Ashley Reifer was arrested for the murder of a 2-month-old baby boy. She was also accused of breaking a 7-month-old baby’s arm. Despite these charges, Ashley received no jail time and was only sentenced to probation. Another horror story is when Leah Warden was arrested for killing an 8-month-old baby at the Rocket Tiers Learning Center. Surveillance video shows Leah violently grabbing the baby’s arm multiple times. “It also shows her putting a blanket over the babies head, covering her face as well as placing pillows over her face. It also shows her slapping the 8-month-old in the face.” (Madison). The final story that Renee Madison discusses is when a daycare worker hit a 21-month-old child with a broom twice because he went under a table and wouldn’t move. This took place in Phoenix Arizona. Two other employees at the daycare were arrested for trying to coverup the abuse. The incident was caught on camera.
There is also the story of Marian Burbine, who, according to WCVB.com, ran an unlicensed daycare in Massachusetts. Her husband, John Burbine, raped the kids and infants who were staying at the daycare. John committed suicide in prison, and Marian was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 10 years of probation for 6 counts of reckless endangerment of a child and for operating a daycare without a license. “Prosecutors said most were assaulted in their homes, and many recorded, when he was substituting for his wife as their caregiver. Prosecutors don’t believe Marian Burbine knew about the abuse, but did know her husband was a convicted child molester.” (WCVB).
These stories show the danger that daycares can pose to children if the wrong one is selected. Make sure to do your due diligence and research prospective caregivers. Do this not only to keep your children safe, but to ensure DCF stays out of your life.
Kevin Seaver is a trusted lawyer since 1991. Recognized expert who successfully specializes in fighting the Department of Children and Families, more commonly referred to as DCF. Kevin Seaver turns DCF negative involvement into positive outcomes in and out of court throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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- Cardona, Alexi C. “Baby Dies after Being Laid down for Nap in Unlicensed Day Care at Golden Gate Home.” Naples Daily News, Naples, 15 Aug. 2018
- Madison, Renee. “12 Daycare Stories That Are Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare.” BabyGaga, BabyGaga, 12 June 2017
- “Prison Sentence for Wife of Child Molester.” WCVB, WCVB, 18 July 2017