After the death of 2-year-old Haile Brockington back in August 2010, the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, Florida, decided to take action and proposed enforcing stricter penalties against day care facilities that violate governmental regulations. Haile tragically died after she was left inside a van for more than 6 hours in Delray Beach, Florida – she was under the supervision of her local day care facility, Katie’s Kids.
Warren Eldridge, executive director of the Early Learning Coalition, is pushing for a policy that would revoke state and federal assistance given to a day care center once the center was investigated by the Palm Beach Count Department of Health and deemed to be out of compliance with state regulations. The agency gives about $84 million each year to over 700 day care centers. Another proposed change is to notify parents when a center had committed Class 1 or Class 2 violations. Class 1 violations are the most serious violations, and include leaving a child unsupervised inside or outside of a day care facility.
A criticism of the proposed amendments is that the time between when the investigation is initiated and when the penalties are enforced is too long. Thus, another amendment has been suggested that would allow the agency to enforce the penalties and notifications to parents faster in certain circumstances. The goal of the whole plan is to reiterate to day care providers what is expected of them and ensure parents of their child’s safety while attending day care. If you would like to read more on this topic please see Local Florida agency attempting to impose stricter penalties on those who violate state day care regulations.