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Mom Wants More Public Information On Day Cares

January 26, 2011, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Mom Wants More Public Information On Day Cares
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A former day care provider accused of abusing a two year old appeared in court Wednesday.

Aubrey Schaaf, 32, says she's not guilty of child abuse and the aggravated assault authorities say happened at her in-home day care.

Now, the mother of the young victim is speaking out, urging other parents to be cautious, and hopes more information will be made available about those who watch our children.

In court papers, Schaaf is accused of using hot water to burn a child's hand in October 2010. Her license was revoked in Sioux Falls more than a year earlier in May 2009.

"As a mom, a very, very hard lesson learned. And I really am sorry that my son had to go through what he did," Becky Soodsma said.

Soodsma is a mother of four. Injuries to her youngest child's hand sparked the investigation. Soodsma thought she'd done her homework in finding a day care, but had no idea the woman she trusted was listed on the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.

"After the fact of finding out that she was on the registry for abuse and neglect I was shocked. Those kind of things, if they're not already public they need to be public," Soodsma said.

Soodsma says she'd also like to see information made available whenever day cares are inspected, using a point system to warn parents of any problems. But she knows that's only half the story, because she thought she had found the perfect day care.

"The kids had their own bins. The toys had their own places, mats for sleeping. It was a nice home, very nice home in fact. And she just seemed like a very nice gal," Soodsma said.

Now, Schaaf faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted while Soodsma hopes everyone in the community can learn from her family's situation.

"There is no such thing as being too cautious. No such thing," Soodsma said.

Prosecutors dropped a third charge which alleged Schaaf had previously been convicted of child abuse or neglect.

According to court documents, Schaaf claims the child's burn was a result of him grabbing a hot faucet.

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