Wednesday, October 31, 2007

They Gave This Person A License To Care For Children?



These days, more than ever, parents are warned to be particularly careful about who they leave their children with. When looking for childcare situations, most parents want the best care they can possibly afford. However, once you drop your children off at day care, how can you be sure about what type of care they're recieving?
Here's a child care center for the Hall Of Shame. In Ottawa, Canada, a woman named Hélène Ranger was arrested for illegally confining children in the private daycare home she ran. Apparently, this woman's idea of "child care" was to place toddlers in a playpen, which was located in a darkened furnace room in the basement of her house.
Because police haven't spoken to the parents of all the children in Helene's care, they haven't released many details to the public. What we do know is that the police were originally alerted after two separate families reported possible neglect of their children. One of these families were concerned because their toddler had gotten a black eye, cuts and bruises, while attending the day care center.
Police raided the day care home, and found eleven children, between the ages of one and four.
Before you begin to get paranoid about who is watching your children, keep in mind these obvious clues that could have alarted parents that Helene Ranger wasn't exactly Mary Poppins.
The most concerning thing is that, according to one father, parents did not actually see the place where their children stayed during the day. Each day the parents would enter the garage of Helene's house. The garage had a door that led into the house's laundry room, and this is where drop-offs and pick-ups occurred. PARENTS AND GUARDIANS: IF YOUR CHILDCARE PROVIDER DENIES YOU ENTRANCE INTO THE PLACE WHERE YOUR CHILD SPENDS HIS DAY, AVOID THIS PERSON! YOU SHOULD BE INVITED INTO THE HOUSE, CLASSROOM OR CENTER, AND ALLOWED TO DROP IN FOR VISITS ANY TIME YOU WANT!
Second of all, Helene was an unlicensed child care provider. By law, a person can care for children in his or her home without being licensed, as long as the number of children being cared for is fairly low. In Ottawa, where Helene's center was, that number is five, including the provider's own children. So in theory, a stay-at-home mom with two kids, who wanted to make some extra money during the day, could offer to provide care for three additional kids.
Helene was caring for at least eleven children... most of them toddlers.
PARENTS AND GUARDIANS: FIND OUT YOUR CHILD CARE PROVIDER'S BACKGROUND! WHETHER OR NOT HE OR SHE IS LICENSED, ASK FOR REFERENCES, FROM FAMILIES WHOSE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN, OR CURRENTLY ARE, CARED FOR BY THE PROVIDER! FIND OUT THE LAWS ABOUT CHILDCARE CENTERS IN YOUR AREA... ESPECIALLY "RATIONS" OF HOW MANY CHILDREN CAN BE CARED FOR AT ONCE BY ONE PROVIDER. THEN MAKE SURE YOUR PROVIDER IS STICKING TO THOSE LAWS!
I will continue to follow the story of Helene Ranger and the children she supposedly cared for.
Until then, remember... When seeking childcare for your kids, you have every right to ask questions, see references, etc. You have every right to observe a center in action, from the inside, before you enroll your child. You have every right to drop in, in the middle of the day, completely unannounced, to see your child, if you want. A good childcare provider will offer healthy snacks, organized activities as well as free time, outdoor time, field trips if age appropriate, and open communication with parents. If your childcare provider isn't completely open with you, and if you feel she isn't providing the type of care your child needs, or if you just have an uneasy feeling, you have every right to look for a different provider! Don't worry about hurting the provider's feelings or leaving them hard up for money. Your first and most important obligation is to your child!
That said, there are many wonderful childcare providers in the world, and most of them got into that field of work because they love children and enjoy caring for them. If you keep your eyes, ears and instincts alert, your kids should be able to have a great time at daycare!

7 comments:

C. R. Morris said...

*shudder* I am so blessed to be able to stay home with my kids. :*-(

Anonymous said...

in what report did it ever say that the furnace room was "darkened"? and what makes you think that a furnace room isn't just a large room (say, a basement) with a furnace in the corner?

Anonymous said...

"effect" is the noun, and "affect" is the verb.

Anonymous said...

I am the aunt of one of the children found in Helene Ranger's home. As a family, we are shocked and horrified about Monday's events. Our little one is fine and is adjusting to new routines with the resilience of young one. The child's parents may never recover.

We had no clue that anything was amiss at the daycare. Mrs. Ranger always conducted herself in a professional manner. Our child was always excited to go to her home. Guess we were lucky.

We are trying to keep perspective, awaiting the police findings as to what truly happened. We appreciate the attention that this situation is getting, but find the speculations hard to take.

I pray that some good comes out of this. Thank you for caring.

Aunt Cindy

Chris Robinson said...

It's hard to know what's what with this. The media naturally make it sound more ominous. I mean using words like CONFINED and FURNACE ROOM immediately colour the passage in a darker light.

Furthermore, what about all the parents? I can't believe parents would not know more about the daycare. That's almost as negligent.

In the end, I guess it also shows just how desperate people are for daycare.

Worried Mommy said...

First of all, as a parent of one the children from that daycare, I am disgusted at how quick some people judge. As every good parent, we had done our research, and Helene was a professional caregiver. While our son was in the Ranger family's care, our experiences with them weren't at all negative. They were nice people, whom I believe made a huge mistake.

We are lucky that our son is safe, okay and that he has taken a bad situation and turned it into a positive one. He is a mature, well-spoken, independant 2 1/2 year old, and I can thank her for that!

As for the media, we don't know how accurate the info is, because the justice system doesn't allow even the parents to know the details of the conditions. Not until the trial is over... That is what angry's me.

As parents, if you have your children in a private daycare, how often do you check references, or have real conversations with other parents to discuss concerns? Probably never... And if you did, you are all trusting the same person to care for your child right? So what would you really find out...

Of course we are upset, and disturbed by the events that took place on Monday, but as for blamming or judging, it's inapropriate.

Thank you.

CAT2kids said...

Some of are not judging at all. I had my son in this particular daycare back in early 1999. I removed him after only 3 weeks in her care and filed a complaint that I strongly felt my child was negleted in her care. At that point I never trusted another daycare and decided to stay at home with my kids. My son is now 9 years old.

I would pick up my son and he would smell of his own excrement so bad that I would have bath him upon arriving home. His clothes were so bad that washing them did not even get the smell out. I had to through them out. I would ask myself, "how long has he been sitting in his own excrement for it to up his clothes this badly". He had diaper rash so bad that his little bottom was bleeding. I had to treat him with antibiotic cream.

He was bitten in the face by another child. She was unable to tell me who bit him and when. His DR recommended the Heb B shot because we not information on the child. He was an unsurpervised 9 month in her care.

I hope she goes to hell for this. Actually HELL is too good of a place for her. The thought that perhaps my son was locked up like that.

I can't believe that finally she's getting what she deserves. My complaint back in 1999 was ignored but finally someone is taking time to check into these things. Thank you!!!