Parent Leaders in the News

In the past week, two Child Care Aware® of America Parent Leaders have been highlighted by local television stations looking to share their child care stories. Each parent has a unique story to tell, yet are both equally important.

The first parent who was featured, was Jennie Dexter from Oklahoma. She focuses on the lack of accessibility in finding affordable, quality child care. She has had to move her daughter to four different facilities in the last three years due to centers closing.

Jennie also discusses the cost of child care in her area, which at one point reached $900 per month. She and her husband are not eligible for a child care subsidy, which at times, has left them struggling to make ends meet. To hear more about Jennie’s story and others like her in Oklahoma, click here to watch the news story from OETA.

The second Child Care Aware® of America Parent Leader who was featured on a local television station this past week was Le’Vaughn Johnson in Georgia. Le’Vaughn met with state legislators in Georgia to reintroduce a bill to require those working in child care to get a comprehensive background check prior to working with children. Le’Vaughn’s son, Quale, died in a child care program (click here to read her story).  To watch Le’Vaughn’s interview with WSBTV, please click here.

Are you a parent advocate in your state? We would love to hear your story! Please click here to share your story today!

Georgia House Bill 46 Petition

Le’Vaughn Johnson is one of Child Care Aware® of America’s parent leaders fighting for stronger child care laws.  Le’Vaughn’s 2-month-old son, Quale, died in a licensed family child care home in Dekalb County, Georgia.

Le’Vaughn did what many parents do. She asked around the community for recommendations for good child care providers.  She checked out several and made a selection.  She was told the state of Georgia required a background check and so she felt comfortable that the provider she selected was safe.

The death certificate for Quale listed “SIDS” – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  But, Quale was found in a pool of blood under his head. Le’Vaughn didn’t believe the cause was SIDS.  She pressed and pressed for an investigation.  Later, the cause of death was changed to “undetermined.”  What she found was shocking.

  1. The state of Georgia requires a background check, but that does not include a check of the state child abuse registry.
  2. The child care provider caring for Quale had numerous licensing violations and citations – including her lack of first-aid training, lack of CPR certification, and citations for inadequate supervision.

The provider that Le’Vaughn selected had a history with the GA Child Protective Services agency, but with no required check of the child abuse registry, the provider was granted a child care license.  Le’Vaughn is working hard to ensure that no parents have to go through what she did – that kind of life lesson is just too tough.

Currently, legislation has been introduced in Georgia by State Rep. Billy Mitchell that would require a comprehensive background check for all child care providers (those employed in child care centers as well as those operating family child care homes).  A comprehensive check would include a fingerprint check against state and federal records as well as check of the child abuse registry.

Le’Vaughn has started a petition to the Governor and other state legislators to support Rep. Mitchell’s bill.  Children should be safe in child care.

Add your name to Le’Vaughn’s petition today.

LVJ