LAYTON -- A Layton mom made an eye-opening discovery about child care centers in Utah when her son was slightly injured at his care center.
Brooke Baker says she no longer wants to take her 2-year-old son, Kaden, to the child care center at her gym. Separate incidents that left him with a cut and rug burn forced her to take a closer look at the center, and she didn't like what she learned.
"That worried me when I talked with them earlier today, that they're not really held to any state requirement with the daycare," Baker said.
That's right, the state doesn't regulate care centers where:
- Parents are in the building
- Children stay less than four hours
- They don't change diapers
- They don't provide meals
"If they fall into that criteria, then we don't license them, which means we don't do background checks," said Charla Haley with the Utah Department of Health.
That also means there are no:
- Required ratios for provider per child
- requirements for cleanliness
- safe equipment requirements
In all fairness, many gym child care centers do have state licenses and provide high-quality child care. But Baker plans to cancel her gym membership and thinks parents should be aware of the differences in child care centers.
"Make sure you feel safe with where you're taking your children, even if it's only for a couple of hours," she said.
State regulators agree: It's up to parents to be eyes and ears for their children.
"It's exactly like when you invite a babysitter into your home. You hopefully know their background and you've talked with them a little bit," Haley said.
KSL News did talk with the manager of Barker's gym child care center. She says they provide a safe, co-op that gives moms an affordable option. This illustrates the importance of asking questions and weighing your options.