In Virginia, where religious daycares still receive government subsidies, the lack of oversight is especially disturbing, in part because taxpayer dollars are being used to preach Creationism. But that’s about to change.
The state’s Department of Social Services just announced that hundreds of faith-based facilities that aren’t licensed and don’t get subsidies will soon receive surprise inspections — just to make sure the children are safe and secure.
Currently, more than 2500 licensed day cares across Virginia are inspected at least twice a year, with requirements for background checks, training and health and safety. Religiously exempt day cares, however, self-report their compliance with standards by submitting documents to the state.
Department of Social Services said there have been 28 child day care deaths statewide from 2004 to 2018, but the agency doesn’t track whether the deaths occurred at licensed or religious exempt facilities.
This isn’t about telling Christian facilities how to operate or what to teach. It’s about making sure the kids are doing okay. There’s no church/state separation argument in play here because it’s purely a safety issue. In the meantime, parents who have a choice as to where to send their children should consider taking them to centers that are licensed and regulated and have stringent standards about how to care for kids.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)