It is with a sickness in my heart that I write this email... Recently a local home day care was shut down. When social services entered the home, they found infants and toddlers strapped in car seats in closets with the doors shut and the lights off. They found the owner had not been feeding the children and had only been changing their diapers right before the parents picked them up. She would have radios playing so neighbors couldn't hear the kids screaming and crying.
As the story continues to unfold, many of the parents are piecing things together: why their children always came home starving and thirsty; why they always came home so immaculately clean; (Hello!? They were in car seats all day not being fed!) and why they cried when they were dropped off. She also had weird rules like you can't pick your children up in the middle of the day because it was disruptive and unfair to the other children and when you picked your child up, she met you at the door. Some of the kids who could talk would say bizarre things, but the parents just figured it was a child's imagination talking.
What makes me the most crazy about all of this is all the red flags parents were ignoring! How could they have let this happen? They say were just caught up in the lie that she was so amazing. But come on people, these are your children! Use your brains! It reminded me so much of the Kitty Genovese story from New York (the bystander effect). She didn't even have a valid license and was over limit for the amount of children she had...yet, parents didn't even think to check if her license is valid because other parents took their kids there too and spoke so highly of her.
All I know is parents you have no idea what is going on when you aren't there. I know there are some families who can't survive without putting children in day care; I just hope they really investigate who is watching their children. When I heard the story, the first thing I did was thank my husband for allowing me to stay home.
Thank you Dr. Laura for continuing to advocate for our children by supporting stay-at-home parents...you may not know how much you influence us, but you're work is invaluable.