Butler County cracking down on unlicensed child care providers

BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Butler County is cracking down on unlicensed child care facilities.

"We just want to get everyone legal and licensed," said Butler County Health Department Administrator Jamie Downs.

Downs says the county became concerned after noticing a drop in the number of legitimate daycare facilities. 

"Being a child care provider can be rewarding and we would encourage anyone that is interested or that is currently watching children and not licensed to give us a call or contact their local health department," she advised. 

The health department says children in licensed facilities are statistically less likely to get hurt, so Downs says she wants to help those without a license not get them in legal trouble.

"It's usually a fine is what they end up with," she stated. "But, they can be prosecuted." 

The health department says there are resources parents can use to assure their children are in safe hands, resources that mom Lindsey Jones says put her at ease after putting her kids in daycare. 

"At one point, I did have to chose somebody that I hadn't known and it was very scary," she recalled. "I was able to obtain a list from SRS, which is now called DCF, of child care providers."

Aside from obtaining a list of providers, there are things parents can do on their own.

"Definitely interviews, 'cause you're, ya know, having these people take care of your children," Jones stated.

Experts also recommend drop-in visits to the daycare you are considering so you can see how the facility normally operates.

To find out if your child care provider is licensed, visit the following link: Kansas Department of Health and Environment - Child Care Licensing