Published On: Sun, Mar 11th, 2012

Leaving Children to Chance

Most States Fail to Protect Children

NACCRRA’s Updated Report Ranking and Scoring States Based on Current Small Family Child Care Home Standards and Oversight Reveals Failing Grades for Most States

Sixteen States Received a Score of Zero. Only Four States Received 70 Percent or Higher

Leaving Children to ChanceArlington, VA – The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) released its latest report today, ranking states on their current small family child care home standards and oversight policies. The report, entitled Leaving Children to Chance: NACCRRA’s Ranking of State Standards and Oversight of Small Family Child Care Homes: 2012 Update reveals that most states fail to protect the health, safety and well-being of children being cared for in small family child care homes. According to the report, only four states scored 70 percent or higher on the basic requirements needed to ensure that children are safe and in settings that promote healthy development. To download the full report, click here.

The report ranks every state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense (DoD) child care system, on 16 basic standards focused on ensuring the health, safety and well-being of children while in family child care homes serving six or fewer children. States were ranked based on a point system with states earning a maximum of 150 points. This is NACCRRA’s sixth report reviewing state child care standards and oversight since 2007 and an update of NACCRRA’s 2010 review of state small family child care home standards.

Standards reviewed include: basic health and safety requirements; inspections prior to licensing; number of annual inspections and policies with regard to complaint-related inspections; types of background checks for child care providers and people in the household of licensed providers who are required to have a background check; provider education; initial training and annual training requirements; toys and materials required; learning activities required; group size limitations; and parent-provider communication requirements.

According to the report, the average state score (among states scoring points) was 69 (46 percent) of a possible score of 150 points. Sixteen states received a score of zero. About half the states do not conduct inspections at least annually. Only nine states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Virginia) require a comprehensive background check for child care providers (a fingerprint check against state and federal records, a check of the child abuse registry and a check of the sex offender registry). Only 15 states meet each of the 10 basic health and safety requirements needed to keep children safe and healthy in child care.

Source: National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies

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