Experts offer advice to help parents ensure daycares are safe

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NewsChannel 13 is investigating to learn what daycare providers need to do to obtain a license. It comes after a disturbing case of abuse inside a Green Island daycare.

Experts say when choosing a daycare, it is recommended that you do your research. Licensed childcare providers have to follow certain rules in order to make sure children are safe.

As NewsChannel 13 reported on Wednesday, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office says Anna Pratt was running an unlicensed daycare at her house.

Police say Pratt’s boyfriend, John Ferrara, sexually assaulted a young girl. Pratt and Ferrara were both charged. The daycare was shutdown. Abbe Kovacik is the executive director for Brightside Up. She says New York has guidelines in place that make sure childcare providers are screened. In New York, if you’re caring for more than two children for three hours, you have to be licensed.

To get a license, you have to fill out an application. The application is reviewed by a licensor. They then visit the facility to make sure the program is meeting health and safety standards.

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Kovacik recommends parents put their children in a licensed facility.

"So those guidelines, those rules and regulations help to ensure that children are in a safe location and that the adults who are working with them have been screened and are trained in order to work with them. So unlicensed childcare programs might not follow those same guidelines, and so it’s essentially important that families have a safe experience and a licensed experience is the kind of experience that they should look for," said Kovacik.

Learn what Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says you should also look into when choosing a daycare by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.

MORE INFORMATION: Brightside Up website | You can also call them at (518) 426-7181

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