In Minnesota, state regulators are planning to propose a new set of safety measures in response to the rise of day-care deaths. This would include increased training of day-care staff, stiffer penalties and online access to more licensed records.
“If parents are able to have access to information about child care, we know they are going to take advantage of it,” said Jerry Kerber, inspector general for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). “We recognize the need.”
Among the recommendations are:
• Stiffer penalties for day-care providers who violate state safety standards.
• Training in safe-sleep practices for infants will be required annually; it is currently required every five years.
• Providers would have to complete more training before getting licensed and more ongoing training, including courses on health and safe supervision.
• Providers would be required to check on sleeping infants every 30 minutes and use a baby monitor when they are not in the same room. Checks would be required every 15 minutes when an infant is new to a day care, which can be the riskiest period for sleep deaths.
“We’re all about safety, health and professional development,” says Kate Chase, executive director of The Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, who has not taken a formal position on the proposal.
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