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Day Care Laws In Sioux Falls

March 6, 2014, 10:00 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Day Care Laws In Sioux Falls

The tragic passing of Meredith Ulmer happened while the city was in the midst of examining local day care ordinances.

New rules for home day care providers have been in place for a few years now, and City Officials say they are making a difference.

Day care providers in Sioux Falls have had to adjust to a lot of changes since 2011. But it wasn't just the tragic death of Meredith Ulmer that spurred the city to update its policies.

"It just recharged us even further to continue to make the changes that we were looking to make," City Health Director Jill Franken said. 

In 2010, the city started to examine how they inspected home day cares. By 2011, they were able to put their findings to work.

"Providing an inspection for every new day care that comes in. We do an opening inspection and then an unannounced inspection after they've been operating within a month. And then also, those same process we're doing for inspections applies to any day care we receive a complaint about," Franken said. 

Some of the other changes include requirements to have liability insurance, to be registered with the city, and not having anyone in the home caring for the kids who is not registered.

The changes also allow unannounced drop-ins from parents and inspectors. City Health Director, Jill Franken, says there are some warning signs to look for when doing a drop-in.

"They should maintain their home in such a way that anybody should be able to come in and see if they have things safely put away. Do they have medications put away and locked in areas up where children can't reach them. How do they have their kitchen set-up so that it's safe. Things of that nature, and just how do the children seem to be interacting with the provider," Franken said. 

Franken says parents should also be sure and do their homework before hiring a day care provider.

The city has a free database online to check-out who is registered with the city and who has had violations in the past.

"It's more important that the parents feel comfortable with where their children are being cared for, as much as it is for us to feel good about the basic level of safety being provided in the home," Franken said.

You can look up day care providers, to see if they are registered or have violations at the City's website.

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