the editor I believe I’ve seen an article in this paper before, but this is an issue I thought I should bring to the attention of our readers who have children that are in daycare. I recently had the experience of dealing with a local child care provider who I trusted, and who cared for my children for over four years. I had followed her from a large facility, and then to her home where she continued to do childcare. When she moved to her home she told her parents that she was trying to become registered. I assumed that she had completed that process. A little over a month ago this childcare provider decided that she needed a break and left on a whim with her boyfriend and left all of her daycare kids with a 17 year old helper. When I picked up my children on that Monday evening, I was informed by the 17 year old that my provider would be home the next day; that the 17 year old would be watching the children the next day. I assumed that she would be home before her after-school kids got there. I called at 4:10 p.m. to see if my provider was home, she was not. I asked this 17 year old exactly how many kids she had. She had 19 children, two of which live at the provider’s home. This is one 17 year old, with no driver’s license, and no assistance in caring for these 19 children. One of the things that upset me the most was the fact that she didn’t give me the choice to make the decision to put my children in that situation - she made the choice for all of her parents to endanger all 19 children. I should have had the option to leave my kids there, or to pick them up because she was going out of town. I have since found out that if a childcare provider is neither registered nor certified, which my provider was neither, that the childcare provider may only watch three children, including any young children the provider may have of her own. So for the last few years my childcare provider has been watching numerous children illegally, and withholding the truth from her parents. If you are a parent in need of childcare in a home environment, be sure that the provider is registered or certified, that they are doing everything by the book for the sake and safety of the kids, and not doing childcare illegally because they’re money hungry. If a provider isn’t registered or certified you might want to know why. Danielle Howman Prineville
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