Parents for Safe Child Care


Parents for Safe Child Care is hopeful that the urgent safety and health issues that impact our children attending licensed child care will motivate the child care community and policymakers to become proactive in accordance to their missions to serve children.

In the News:

Toddler escapes Kitsap County daycare, hurt in parking lot

By Kim Shepard
97.3 KIRO FM Anchor
Updated Jul 13, 2012 - 12:22 pm

A toddler in Kitsap County is in the hospital after escaping from daycare and making her way to the parking lot.
The 14-month-old was in a play area behind a fence that was closed, but not locked at the Chico Christian Childcare Center according to Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson.

A father who had just dropped off his child, heard her as he was climbing back into his truck. He got out and walked around his truck to find the girl on the ground, about a foot away from the rear tire to the right.

The girl suffered a fractured skull and bruised lung but is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Wilson says they don't know exactly how she got hurt. They're looking into the possibility she may have been hit by a car.

According to the sheriff's office, it's the first incident at this daycare center. Officers will send information about the accident to the licensing department and in the meantime the daycare will remain open.

Sheriff's: Kitsap Co. toddler hit in parking lot

The Kitsap County sheriff's office says a 14-month girl is in satisfactory condition in a Seattle hospital after being injured in a daycare parking lot.

The Associated Press
Friday, July 13, 2012 at 6:13 AM

CHICO, Wash. — The Kitsap County sheriff's office says a 14-month girl is in satisfactory condition in a Seattle hospital after being injured in a daycare parking lot.

The Kitsap Sun reports ( that the girl somehow apparently got out of an enclosed play area at Chico Christian Childcare Center.

Sheriff's office spokesman Scott Wilson says investigators have not ruled out the possibility she was hit by a car.

The girl was found on her hands and knees about a foot from the rear wheel of a pickup truck by man dropping off his child.

He was about to move his truck when he heard crying.

State officials say there have been no previous incident reports and no substantiated complaints on Chico Christian Childcare Center.


No evidence that toddler injured in parking lot was hit by truck, deputies say

By Chris Henry
Posted July 12, 2012 at 5:04 p.m., updated July 12, 2012 at 6:31 p.m.

CHICO — A 14-month-old girl found injured in a child care parking lot Wednesday morning is in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The truck beside which she was found did not hit the child, according to an investigation by Kitsap County sheriff's deputies. What's not clear is how she was injured, said sheriff's office spokesman Scott Wilson. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility she was hit by another car.

The toddler apparently got out of an enclosed play area at Chico Christian Childcare Center, Wilson said. The playground monitor told investigators "her attention was distracted momentarily," and when she went to make a head count, she noticed the 14-month-old was missing. She first checked the slide area, then noticed the side gate of the playground was open.

The driver of the 1994 Chevrolet pickup meanwhile had parked in front of the day care entrance and walked to the passenger side to get his child out of the truck. The driver, a 41-year-old Bremerton man, said that after dropping his child off inside, he got back in the truck, started it and put it in reverse. The truck had not moved, when he heard crying, turned the truck off and got out to see what had happened. When the driver went to the rear passenger's side, he found the 14-month-old on her hands and knees about a foot from the rear wheel.

The man picked the girl up and handed her to the playground monitor, who had noticed the child and come to retrieve her. The man then left the day care. According to Wilson, it was not immediately clear to either adult that the child had been injured. The man returned to give his report to deputies as soon as he was informed there was an investigation, Wilson said.

Traffic investigators saw no marks in the dust on the truck, and they found no hair or skin tissue that would suggest impact with the Chevy caused the scrapes on one side of the child's body and "evidence of trauma" on the other side.

"The investigation shows no evidence so far that the child was hit by the truck," Wilson said. "However, that doesn't mean another vehicle didn't hit her and didn't know it."

The toddler was taken by her mother, accompanied by a day care staff member, to Harrison Medical Center and later to Harborview. According to the KCSO lead investigator, the child has a small head fracture and a bruised lung. Provided her condition does not deteriorate, she may be released from the hospital as early as tomorrow, Wilson said.

Harrison staff reported the child's injuries to the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services Children's Administration, as required by law whenever there is an injury at a state licensed child care facility, said Chris Case, Children's Administration spokeswoman. The day care center and Harborview also reported the injury, Case said.

Following "standard procedure," the sheriff's office will forward the investigation report to the county prosecutor's office.

Chico Christian Childcare Center, in operation since 1974, is licensed for up to 141 children ages 4 weeks to 12 years. There have been no previous incident reports and no substantiated complaints on the facility, Case said.

14-month-old girl hurt in parking lot of Central Kitsap daycare

By Kitsap Sun staff
Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.

CENTRAL KITSAP — A 14-month-old girl may have suffered a skull fracture in an incident in the parking lot of a Central Kitsap child care center.

A man told Kitsap County Sheriff's Office deputies he dropped his child off at the Chico Christian Daycare at 3670 Chico Way NW in Central Kitsap at about 10:20 a.m. He signed in his own child then returned to his truck, walking between the front of the truck and the center's playground area. The man said he started the truck and put the transmission into reverse, then heard a child crying outside. He said he put the truck back in park without it ever moving and turned off the engine, according to a sheriff's office account of the incident.

He got out of the truck and saw the 14-month-old girl on the ground next to the rear passenger side of the truck, he said. The child was enrolled at the day care center and was not the driver's child.

The man said he picked up the girl and looked around until one of the day care center employees arrived, took the girl and walked into the building. The driver left until he was notified there was an investigation. A KCSO statement indicated it was unclear whether the truck hit the girl or the girl fell on her own.

A parent of the girl took her to Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale, where emergency room doctors determined she should be flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Harborview officials said Wednesday afternoon the girl suffered scrapes and bruises and a possible skull fracture.

Daycare facility has license suspended over violence, neglect

Little Learners Early Learning Center 2 in Everett was cited for spanking and leaving kids alone in classrooms

Kirsten Joyce
Q13 FOX News reporter
5:53 p.m. PDT, March 28, 2012

EVERETT— Staffers of a daycare facility in Everett have been cited by the Washington State Department of Early Learning for hitting children and for leaving them unattended. The State hand-delivered a suspension notice to Little Learners Early Learning Center 2 on Monday after it deemed the conditions in the facility constituted an imminent danger.

"I've been waiting for it to happen for at least two years now," said Heather McVay, who lives next door to the facility. "I would go elsewhere, even though this is right here in my apartment complex, I would not place my children here."

"I've heard them, and watch them, grab them by the shoulder, scream in their face, I think: you're not their parents, you're not supposed to be doing that," she said.

McVay even said a friend of herspulled her son out of the facility after he was copying some misbehavior he apparently learned from one of the staff.

Last Thursday, the state sent an inspector to the facility to investigate several complaints. On Monday, the daycare's license was suspended over accusations that the director had spanked children, that staff left children alone in classrooms, and that the facility was being run without a qualified program supervisor.

Basic necessities were not being provided, said Amy Blondin, spokeswoman for the Department of Early Learning.

"There weren't appropriate snacks for kids, no warm water in the building which is critical for hand washing and washing dishes," Blondin said.

The daycare opened in September 2010. Sinc then, there were three other complaints investigated and found to be valid, but not serious enough to suspend the facility`s license.

"If there is an immediate concern about safety and health of kids, we take immediate action. If there are issues that we can work with the provider to come into compliance with the rules, we do that," Blondin said. "Our goal is to provide safe places for kids."


Daycare shut down after allegations of violence, poor conditions

By Joel Moreno
Published: Mar 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM PDT Last Updated: Mar 28, 2012 at 7:44 AM PDT

EVERETT, Wash. -- An Everett daycare center was recently shut down after state investigators allegedly found a host of safety violations.

Brittany Lawrence worked at Little Learners for three months before the state Department of Early Learning shut the center down. She said workers did their best to care for the kids, but the problems were obvious.

"The diaper changing table was in the wrong spot," she said. "We always had cold water. We didn't have hot water. Sometimes we didn't have soap."

The center's owners, Omar and Carla Taplin, have had a string of trouble with the state. Inspectors filed a report saying, "there is no warm water for hand washing and washing dishes," and the center "does not provide appropriate meals and snacks."

The menu posted inside lists a range of nutritious meals, but Lawrence said it was all a lie.

"We're supposed to have certain snacks, but we had crackers, like, every day," she said. "We're supposed to give them milk. We didn't give them milk, like, ever."

Even more troubling, the state inspectors believe spanking was used as a punishment and staff sometimes left children unattended in the classroom.

Lawrence said she and her coworkers did their best to care for the two dozen children at the center, even buying supplies with their own money. She also said the Taplin's stiffed the employees out of their last three paychecks.

The state also shut down an Edmonds daycare center owned by the Taplins.


Son of former Marysville day care owner charged with sexually abusing children

By Kirk Boxleitner, MARYSVILLE GLOBE
Published 09:21 a.m., Saturday, September 17, 2011

MARYSVILLE - Charges of two counts of child molestation in the first degree and one count of the rape of a child in the first degree were filed Sept. 15 against the son of a currently suspended day care owner and operator in Marysville.

According to documents filed by Snohomish County prosecutors, Wilson not only molested a 10-year-old girl on April 18 of this year, but also molested a five-year-old girl from April 1-15 of this year, and raped another five-year-old girl from May 1, 2009, through January 31 of this year.

In the affidavit of probable cause, all three girls are quoted as saying that these events happened while they were in Moore's care. The girls who reported being molested said that it happened during the night. The 10-year-old girl added that she was molested by Wilson while Moore slept.

None of these disclosures were made with any knowledge of the others, nor were any of them made with the knowledge that Wilson had committed similar acts at Moore's previous day care in Idaho, as both Wilson and Moore admitted after the most recent allegations surfaced.

Moore ran All Hours Childcare for two years before the Washington State Department of Early Learning suspended her license, shutting down the day care in April of this year. While Wilson admitted to abusing children sexually in the past, he denied the more recent charges.

According to the DEL, Moore had never disclosed Wilson's previous acts of sexual abuse to licensing officials. Moore had four sustained licensing complaints on her record.


Court eases proof for revoking child-care licenses

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of a lower standard of proof for authorities seeking to revoke a child-care-facility license.

By Brad Shannon
The Olympian

Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of a lower standard of proof for authorities seeking to revoke a child-care-facility license.

The case has implications for other professions regulated by the state that have used a higher, "clear and convincing" standard of proof in misconduct cases. It was not immediately clear how health professions such as counseling, chiropractic and nursing may be affected.

In his majority opinion, Justice James Johnson wrote that the court was overruling its own decision — in a 2006 case known as Ongom v. Department of Health — which had said "clear and convincing evidence" was needed to revoke a nursing assistant's license.

Johnson, joined by just three other justices, wrote:

"We affirm the Court of Appeals and hold that, at an administrative hearing, constitutional due process requires no more than a preponderance of the evidence to justify the revocation of a home child care license. In doing so, we overrule our previous decision in Ongom."

Johnson also wrote:

"A requirement that the Department perfect its case to a quasi-criminal standard of proof could endanger children and ignores the reality and the responsibility of the State to protect its most innocent and vulnerable residents."

In this case, the Department of Early Learning (and its predecessor agency) had revoked the in-home child-care license for Kathleen Hardee in 2000 over concerns about the presence of her then-teenage son, whose record included a conviction for threatening someone at school with a knife.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Early Learning did not immediately return a call asking for comment in the Hardee v. DSHS case (DSHS had jurisdiction until the Early Learning agency was created in 2007).

The Attorney General's Office argued for the lower standard and was pleased by the result. "It reaffirms the constitutional power of the Legislature to impose the preponderance of evidence standard," Deputy Solicitor General Jay Geck said.

Although the case dealt with home child-care facilities it could have broad implications for the licensing of counselors, chiropractors, nurses and many other health-related professions that the state regulates.

"I think the analysis would apply to any of the licensed and regulated businesses," Geck said. "We're still studying the opinion to see how far it goes."

Kristi Weeks, director of legal services for the state Department of Health, said her agency wants to confer with its counsel at the AG's office to identify any implications for the 79 professions and 370,000 individuals that the agency licenses and has disciplinary authority over.

"The standard for all health professions before today was clear and convincing, which is higher than a preponderance of evidence," Weeks said. "I think the implication is determining what professions require clear and convincing and what professions do not. We are not in a position to decide that today."


Read how Kathleen Hardee v. State of Washington, DSHS became Case Law

Shoreline day care owner charged with molestation

5-year-old child at the center alleged to have been molested
Updated 02:15 p.m., Monday, April 25, 2011

Prosecutors have filed child molestation charges against the operator of a Shoreline day care accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl there.

Blue Sunshine Daycare owner James Christopher Day, 22, faces two first-degree child molestation charges following allegations that he repeatedly assaulted a girl under his care.

According to charging documents, the 5-year-old girl's mother contacted police on April 24 after she saw her daughter and Day kiss. Asked about the kiss, the girl is alleged to have said, "Jamie does that to me all over."

In interviews that followed, investigators were told Day had molested the girl repeatedly at the day care center, a King County sheriff's detective said in charging documents. Most often, the detective told the court, he would do so during nap time as the other children were sleeping.


Day care provider found passed out in van with kids

by Justin Burton

Posted on October 30, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Updated today at 1:30 PM

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. -- A Yacolt, Wash. day care provider was arrested Friday after police said she passed out while two children were in a minivan with her.

Battle Ground Police said officers found Sheila Michalios, 45, unconscious in her minivan at around 5:45 p.m. in the 500 block of E. Main Street and was unable to care for the two small children who were with her. The children -- a 2-year-old boy and his 16-month-old sister -- were in their car seats, but they weren't properly buckled in. Police found open alcohol containers in the minivan and said Michalios smelled of beer.

Police said they were flagged down by someone who saw Michalios passed out in the minivan during Battle Ground's popular "Trick or Treat Street" event. Michalios' own children were participating in the event at the time of the incident and were not with her in the minivan. Police couldn't find any witnesses who may have seen Michalios driving under the influence.

The children were turned over to Child Protective Services after being checked by medics and reunited with their parents.

Michalios was taken to the Clark Co. Jail and booked on two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment. Bail is set at $1,100 and she is due in court on Monday.

"It's a good thing nothing happened to these kids," said Sgt. Kim Armstrong. "What's particularly bothersome is that she was entrusted by the parents of these children to take care of them, and she was in no condition to do that."

Michalios has been a licensed day care provider since 2003 and operates "Kids-N-Kare" at her home, according to state business records. Her license allows her to take care of up to one dozen children ages 11 or younger. Police said CPS has suspended her license pending the outcome of their investigation in this case.

Consumer Advocates And CPSC Push For Global Safety Standards For Window Coverings

June 18, 2010

SILVER SPRING, Md., (WUSA) -- "She just took this, and she made a loop like this," Linda Kaiser says.

Her daughter, Cheyenne died 18 days after her first birthday, strangled with a cord from a window blind.

Linda is now on a crusade to keep other children safe, and spare families from experiencing such a tragedy.

"I'd like to see mandatory cordless safety standards for products in the United States," she says.

Kaiser founded the non-profit Parents For Window Blind Safety, after Cheyenne's death.  She along with other consumer experts and safety advocates are pushing the federal government to move quickly.

She says, "The longer we wait, the more children are going to die."

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 120 children have strangled on widow cord blinds in the U.S. since 1999.  One child every month.

"A child can put their head inside the cord and strangle." says CPSC spokesperson Patty Davis.

She says the recent recall of 3.3 million IKEA Roman blinds adds to the urgency for manufacturers worldwide to improve their design standards for all corded window coverings.

"We are going to be pushing the international standard setting organizations, along with Canada and Europe, who will be helping us to set new international standards that will be more comprehensive and stronger for window blinds," Davis says.

CPSC Calls For Stronger Standards For Window Coverings

And if you have the recalled IKEA blinds in your home, the CPSC says return them to the store immediately for a full refund.

Davis says, "The CPSC recommends you go cordless."

Linda Kaiser looks forward to a future with window coverings that are cord-free.

"This is something that needs to be addressed right now."

Safety experts say check to see if your blinds have been recalled. 

Never place an infant's crib or child's bed next to a window that has a corded blind.  

And, sign up to receive recall alerts from the CPSC.

by New Day Producers

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM

For nearly twenty years, Stuart Jacobson has been working tirelessly to institute safer child care in the state through his organization "Parents for Safe Child Care".  He is among five local winners of the Jefferson Award and was chosen by KING-5 viewers to represent Washington state at the national Jefferson Awards in Washington D.C. in June.

Bill requires day-care soil tests - 3/19/05

State Senate considers bill that calls for arsenic and lead tests by 2009

Mandatory testing of soil in daycares and schools closer - 3/16/05

Arsenic, lead taint soils at many 'child-use areas' - 11/29/04
High arsenic levels have been found in the dirt at parks, school playgrounds, preschools and daycares around Vashon Island and the South End.

Arsenic poisoning's impact seen over long term - 11/29/04
With a few steps, you can minimize the health risk of arsenic exposure. There is a increased chance for cancer as a child grows up.

'This is a matter of bureaucratic indifference' - 3/31/03

Seattle P-I

King County parents who pay for day care are often among the last to know when their children are exposed to harm.

Overburdened licensors usually don't intervene until after children have been put at risk, and even the worst centers are allowed to stay in business - getting chance after chance to make amends.

This special report examines the county's troubled child care system.

Who's minding day care?
In King County, more than 5,800 children in licensed day cares were exposed to potential harm between January 1999 and December 2001 -- enrolled in dangerous, abusive or badly run facilities, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has found.

Childtime's long road to change
Serious violations piled up at the Childtime Learning Center in Kent over two years, exposing hundreds of children to substandard care -- and potential harm. Today the center is still on probation, but it is on the brink of satisfying minimum standards.

Day care a huge expense for parents
Day care for the first four years of a child's life is almost twice as expensive as four years of tuition at the University of Washington.

Day care search can be daunting
Finding and holding on to good day care is more challenging than most new parents anticipate. Waiting lists can be long. Care is expensive. If a parent is searching for infant care, part-time hours or care for children with special needs, the search becomes even harder. And parents often find themselves scrambling for alternatives when a provider closes shop.

Job marked by low pay, long hours
A day care worker's job is marked by long hours and low pay. Many are being driven out by low wages, mounting regulations and inconsistency in how individual licensors apply state rules.

Other states have made big strides
To improve the safety and quality of licensed child care in Washington, the state needs a better watchdog -- armed with more licensors and an enforcement policy that addresses problems quickly.

Parents for Safe Child Care is a 501(c)(3) non-profit