Parents, lawyer stress importance of day care research

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Local parents and a Tulsa lawyer are stressing the importance of parents doing their research about potential day care options for their children.

Several Green Country parents said safety and making sure day care staff have good intentions are the most important factors in their decisions.

“To me, the main thing is the vibe,” said parent Glenn Glaser. “If [day care staff] are honest and caring and show that they care about your child.”

Tulsa lawyer Michael Carr spoke with NewsChannel 8 last week about what parents should consider before making any child care decisions.

“That child has a right to be there and be safe and protected,” said Carr. “Parents say, ‘Well, I wish I had just asked the day care facility about whether or not they did background checks or I wish I had asked them about.’ Well, what was the result of your background checks.”

Carr said Oklahomans are entitled to transparency when it comes to the environment they’re keeping their children.

He said one telltale sign for parents to look out for when considering if something is wrong after they’ve sent their child to a day care facility is drastic changes in emotional behavior.

Carr also said, if a parent notices bruising or marks on their child that the facility did not inform them about, they should contact DHS so the department can launch its own investigation.

“Root out what could have happened,” said Carr. “[DHS] will conduct interviews, take witness statements, and they should do a full investigation into what happened.”

Is there any harm in parents also contacting local law enforcement in addition to DHS?

Carr said that action is advisable in cases where parents have legitimate concerns, especially when it comes to potentially protecting other children.

“Hopefully, there’s nothing to it, but at least you want to get to the bottom of it, provide peace of mind,” said Carr. “And also to protect not only your child but other children that could be vulnerable.”

NewsChannel 8 also spoke with parents Sunday who offered their own advice after spending years searching for the right day care options for their children.

“Investigating that space,” said Catie-Beth Robertson, when asked what she believes parents should do. “Speaking to parents who’ve been there before, noticing the children in the classrooms you tour. Are they at peace? Does it seem as if they’re enjoying themselves?”

Carr said that it’s also important for parents to know what security options are available in the facility. If parents are interested in a facility with video cameras, Carr said it’s important they ask about them.

“Day care facilities are not required to have video cameras in their facilities,” said Carr. “Some do, some don’t.”

All of the parents NewsChannel 8 spoke with agreed there was no universal plan that would work for all parents. However, they all recommended that parents at least call, email, talk in person and tour as many facilities as possible before making a final decision.

For a list of licensed Oklahoma child care options near you, click here.

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