How much is too much? In-home daycare provider regulations.
When I picked up my kids from my in-home daycare provider yesterday afternoon, I had an interesting conversation with her. She was telling me about some new regulations that are coming out for in-home providers regarding infants. She mentioned that so far this year, there have been six infant deaths in licensed home care facilities, and that is where these new regulations are coming from. I found this article that talks about the deaths.
Deaths in Minn. day cares rising, mostly in home-based settings
- Article by: BRAD SCHRADE
- Star Tribune
- March 5, 2012 - 9:45 AM
The number of children dying in Minnesota's licensed child-care facilities has risen sharply in the past five years, from incidents that include asphyxia, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and unexplained causes.
In that time period, 51 children have died in licensed child-care facilities, most of them infants. That's more than double the 24 who died during the previous five years, according to records maintained by the state Department of Human Services (DHS).
All but three of the deaths over the past decade occurred in family child-care settings, which include about two-thirds of the Minnesota children in licensed day care. Family providers are licensed by the state but, unlike larger center-based facilities, they operate out of private homes and usually have a single caregiver with little outside supervision.
Already this year, there have been six deaths in licensed facilities, all of them in family care.
"If we have this many children that are dying in the care of a licensed provider, it's time for us to take a very serious look at this to figure out what is going on," said Jerry Kerber, DHS inspector general, who heads the licensing division.
No one knows why day-care deaths have risen, but one cause might be a regulatory change several years ago that loosened SIDS prevention standards in Minnesota, said Kathleen Fernbach, director of the Minnesota Sudden Infant Death Center.
Read more here: http://www.startribune.com/printarticle/?id=141314823
My DCP was telling me what some of the new regulations are. I tried looking online to find them but couldn't find anything. Perhaps they are too new yet to be posted. Anyway, based on what she said, here are some of the new regulations. (Any mention of "infant" means "under 12 mo of age".)
Infants, while sleeping in the crib, cannot have ANYTHING else in the crib with them. No blankets (not even light receiving blankets), no lovies, no stuffed animals, NOTHING. Just the child and the clothing they are wearing.
Infants are not to be swaddled while sleeping.
Infants are not to be allowed to sleep in a swing or infant carrier. If they fall asleep in these devices, she is to remove the infant and move them to an appropriate crib to sleep. Even if the infant is brought in in a carrier in the morning and is asleep in the carrier, the care provider needs to remove the infant immediately and move it to a crib.
Infants are to be placed to sleep on their backs. If an infant rolls over onto it's tummy on it's own, she is to roll them back onto their backs. The only way to allow the infant to sleep as it rolls is to get a signed, notarized directive from the parents (I think she said parents though it could've been doctor).
In the case of my DCP, she has an infant in her care that is her own grandson. During daycare hours, she has to follow all these procedures just like she would have to with any other infant. Even if the parents say it's ok, let him sleep with his blanket, she still can't. If she does she could have her license suspended. She also gave the example that she could have him in the swing, walk into the kitchen (next room over) to make lunch for the toddlers, and if he falls asleep in the swing and an inspector comes in unannounced and sees it, she could have her license immediately suspended. Doesn't matter if he's only been asleep for 30 seconds, it still counts as sleeping in the swing.
Her opinion was that these new regulations are going to make it very difficult for in-home providers to take infants. She thought that more and more providers might refuse infants and only take toddlers on up (where the regulations loosen a little). I wouldn't blame them. The problem I see is that if most care providers refuse infants, our society is not set up for working moms to stay home with their infants for the first year. Something has to give somewhere.
So what do you think? Do you think the new regulations are too extreme? Do you think they are necessary to protect infants? Do you think it will actually reduce the rate of SIDS deaths in daycare? Do you think there is a different, better solution to protecting infants from SIDS?