CINCINNATI — The Ohio Attorney General is working to shut down Illegal day cares operating in Ohio. And parents can help.
AG David Yost sent 20 cease-and-desist letters in 2018 and 20 more in 2019 to day cares operating without a license. Yost's office is compiling a list of those locations. It is expected to be released early next week.
Here's where parents can help weed out the bad ones.
Check the facility's license status, said Kim Ginn of 4C for Children, a nonprofit that trains day care workers.
Don’t be one of those parents who look for care that's just convenient, Ginn said.
Also, look for safety and health features, and notice interactions caregivers are having with kids.
“Are they talking to the children?” Ginn said. “Are they getting down on their level? Are they asking open-ended questions and engaging in play?
“Are they hearing laughter? Is it a loving, warm environment?”
Cheryl Spencer runs Totally Kids, a top-rated day care in Cincinnati. Spencer said a license means the state is inspecting that day care and looking out for children's safety.
“It costs $500 for the application. That doesn't mean that you will be given the license,” said Spencer.
Spencer said it can take up to six months for the state to verify a license. Licensed day cares get state funding but are open to inspections. And two of those can be unannounced.
“When you're receiving their monies, they have the opportunity to come in whenever they like, go through your records, make sure once again that you're providing the appropriate care,” Spencer said. “Or if a person complains on you, they have to come out within 24 hours.”
Want to find quality day cares in your area? Go to http://childcaresearch.ohio.gov.