Who's watching your child?

A look at the safety of your child at day care centers.

PHOENIX - Juan Torres is a father of three. His youngest, Maximus is a year old and has been going to a licensed day care for the last nine months.

 “There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about, ‘I hope he's OK, I hope he's being taken care of well,’” Torres said.

Juan and his wife Kelly chose to use the same day care they used for their two older children and have been happy with the services.

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And they say safety is always on their mind when they think about day care.

“I think the main concern is employees,” Torres said. “You wonder what kind of background checks they've gone through, what kind of certifications they've gone through.”

Who is watching your child? It's a question that can worry a lot parents, and it's an issue the Arizona Department of Health Services says is its top priority.

All childcare personnel -- owners as well -- have to submit an application to the department of public safety and obtain a fingerprint clearance card,” said Tom Salow with the ADHS.

The card will only be issued if a background check is passed and the status of those cards are also checked during unannounced inspections that happen at least once a year.

All licensed facilities must display their credentials and abide by state regulations.

Salow recommended parents ask to do a walk-through of all facilities they're considering for their child. He also suggested doing some research online through ADHS’s care check website.

 We asked Torres to check out his child's daycare facility to see if there were any red flags.

“The last survey was done on 7/28 and it looks like there's a civil penalty,” he said. “I'll check what that is.”

There were three citations issued in the last survey conducted, including one for a violation of the ratio of children to teachers.

“I know that sometimes I go in there and they kind of have to juggle people around,” Torres said.

There was also a civil penalty issued in 2015 for a staff member who failed to complete the process of getting a fingerprint card.

But overall, Torres said there was nothing too alarming, though the information is useful.

“I mean, I didn't even know this existed. It's definitely a great resource,” he said. “You can see the report. I'll probably check on this for at least once a month that may be concerning.”

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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