The parents of over a dozen children are probably holding their little ones tighter after what happened at a home day care center. A baby died at the day care, and when police responded to an emergency call, they found 14 more children hidden in the basement. They also found an unsupervised toddler in the backyard and two more children in a bedroom with access to a loaded handgun. What a dangerous environment for all of these children.
It's not yet clear how the 3-month-old baby died. Police were called when the baby was found unresponsive, and he or she later died. The coroner is investigating the possibility that unsafe sleeping conditions led to the death.
In addition to the unsafe conditions I've already described, there were alcoholic beverages and cleaning chemicals found in cabinets without child locks. Owner Pamela Clark Wood was licensed to care for only 6 children in her home, but police found her with 23 children in all! She was arrested and charged with child neglect, violation of her child care license, and obstruction of justice.
Needless to say, the day care center has been closed until at least May.
As a working mom, my heart goes out to all these parents, especially the parents of the infant who died. I have to wonder -- how much was Wood hiding from the parents? Did they have any idea how many children she was caring for? The local news station did find one parent who pulled his child from Wood's care after his son complained. Gary Blackburn says his 4 1/2-year-old kept asking his parents "if they were going to stop loving him." The strange questions ended after they pulled him out of Wood's daycare.
Why do you think Wood took on so many children when she was licensed to care for only six?
Image via boujiandnouna/Flickr