Wednesday, March 28, 2011
This week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment launched a new online database for families to review compliance history of a current or potential child care provider.
Mothers like Pauline Berry were glad to know of an additional tool to help parents in their search for child care providers.
"If I had this four and half years ago, it would've been so much easier for me to try and find that. I'm happy for the newly mothers," said Berry.
Records of licensed child care facilities have been available to the public, but not online and in one database.
The "Child Care and Early Educational Portal" gives Kansans access to three years of survey history, findings, and enforcement information.
"Once a family identifies a potential child care provider or chooses a provider, then we want them to come to this system and research that person, that facility, and review the survey findings and the history, so that they can make better choices," said Rachel Berroth, KDHE director of child care licensing.
In 2004, 13-month-old Lexie Engleman died from injuries she suffered while in the care of a child care provider in Johnson County.
The database was one of the provisions from Lexie's Law that went into effect on July 1, 2010. Since then, there have been stronger guidelines and more inspections for child care providers.
"Anyone who's going to be caring for someone else's children really needs to have the state having the accountability and coming to check on them, as well as the parents. The more eyes, the more safety we're going to have," said Kim Komp, child care provider and owner of Kimmy's House.
To access the portal, click here.
To request additional information about a child care facility, call (785) 296-1270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.