Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work

Child Care When You Can’t Be There

Published February 2011: eHow Family & Relationships Child Care When You Can't Be There What Parents Need to Know When Selecting a Daycare Article Excerpt: Julie Wells, a St. Louis mother of two, removed her son from a day care when staff members fed him snacks made from peanut products despite his peanut allergy. "They knew about his allergy, and I even packed his own snacks," Wells said. "But they were too lazy to get them out." Unfortunately, Wells' story isn't unique. Day care disasters can haunt even the most careful parents. Something to which Brandy Hamann can attest. Hamann, director of Lilypad Learning Center in Collinsville, Ill., and mother of three, decided to open her own center after hearing numerous such horror stories. One mother told her that a center wasn't feeding her child adequate portions. Still another complained of irregular diaper changes, Hamann recalled. "One 18-month-old child was kicked out of a day care because he was biting," she said. "While we don't want children biting, as day care providers we have to realize that this is natural and normal -- you have to find a way to help the child find another way to express himself. But child care outside of the home is often an unavoidable option when work and financial responsibilities loom. While worst-case, or even simply bad-case, scenarios abound, plenty safe options do exist. To find suitable options for their child, it would behoove parents to dig deeper into the practices of local day cares, take safety precautions, ask friends for suggestions and trust their intuition. Read the full story here. - Shannon Philpott