Vermont,Drowning,Day care

Will new child care rules protect Vermont kids?

February 10, 2017
in Kids

BURLINGTON, Vt. - One year ago, a little boy walked away from a day care without anyone noticing and ended up drowning in a nearby stream. The death of Parker Berry immediately raised questions about whether Vermont was doing enough to keep kids in day care safe. Since Parker's death, Vermont has gone from about 15 pages of regulations for home day cares to more than 100 pages. The state says the goal is to keep kids safe, but it's also driving some day cares out of business. Reporter Julie Kelley: Take me to that final day. Erin McKechnie, former child care provider: Oh my goodness. It was gut-wrenching. Six months after closing her four-star day care in Swanton, McKechnie is overcome thinking about her decision. "Sometimes I think if I had tried harder," said McKechnie. Harder to overcome the cost of new regulations like a new fence in her yard which has a stream nearby. "We have to keep kids safe," said Reeva Murphy, DCF Deputy Commissioner for Child Development. Murphy led the state's effort to create the new child care regulations. She says in the six months since the regulations passed, 91 registered home day cares have closed. At the same time, Murphy says 40 new ones have opened under the new rules. So, the...

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