By Sharon Veatch
As executive director of Child Care Aware of Virginia, I know firsthand how important it is that children are safe in child care. Every day, child care resource and referral staff members throughout Virginia educate parents to be good consumers of child care and to help them find care, as well as train providers to improve the quality of care. As a grandmother, I know how difficult it is to find affordable, quality care and to trust that children will be safe and in a setting that promotes their healthy development.
The Washington Post series over Labor Day weekend revealed that at least 60 children, mostly babies, have died in Virginia child care programs over the past several years – 43 in unlicensed care. Since that time, three babies have died – two as a result of a fire in a Lynchburg unlicensed program and one last week as a result of a fire in a Midlothian unlicensed home, bringing total deaths in Virginia child care to at least 63 children, 46 in unlicensed care.