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Unlicensed daycare provider: ‘Parents, it is your responsibility’

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-23 18:48:31-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- It is a story that has captured the hearts of several Virginians -- a one year old boy killed in a fire at an unlicensed daycare.

One owner of an unlicensed daycare in Midlothian, said she now fears a backlash because of what happened at another woman's business.

She said her daycare is perfectly legal because she watches less than five children.

CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George toured the facility Thursday as she pointed out smoke detectors in every room, the multiple exits from her basement play center, and the baby monitor which is always active.

smokedetector

CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George checks a smoke detector at the facility.

She said these are the questions parents must ask.

"Parents, it is your responsibility," she said.

In a fire drill, all occupants were out of the house within two minutes. However, getting to the baby upstairs did take some time, which is why she will not watch more than one baby at a time.

"I will only have one child in my house at a time that is 18 months and under," she explained.

Stats obtained by the Washington Post show that there have been at least 60 childcare deaths in Virginia --- 43 have been at unlicensed sites since 2004.

It is why several organizations, including Richmond's ChildSavers, is advocating tougher regulations.

But the daycare owner cautioned more regulations. She said already requirements and paperwork have forced her and others to drop their license.

"In this zip code, when I began in this business five years ago there were 30 licensed providers. Now there are two," she said.