Watch Special Dateline Investigation: How Much Do You Really Know About Your Child's Day Care Provider?

A months-long investigation led to some disturbing findings about some of the people running day care centers around the country.

If you are a working mom, we don't need to tell you how stressful the issue of child care can be. Finding a good, safe, trustworthy and affordable person or place to care for your child is your top priority, right. So when we tell you about a special Dateline investigation, airing tonight at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on NBC, you are probably going to feel even more stressed.

A months-long investigation by Chris Hansen as part of The Hansen Files, Dateline's investigative franchise, focused on day care centers. Hansen and his team cross referenced day care operators with criminal background databases. What they found was beyond alarming -- everything from a woman running a day care center who shot and killed her husband to a day care operator arrested for beating her own daughter.

Watch here to learn more about the special Dateline investigation and the warning signs of dangerous day care.

 

Now before you run and pull your child out of his or her day care center, it is important to keep some perspective. The vast majority of day care centers are run by trustworthy people who are committed to giving children the best start possible in their young years.  Still, there are important steps parents should take to determine the best -- and safest -- place for their children.

Watch here to learn some of those key tips for finding the right day care for your family.

 

Finally, as a mom, you know that going with your gut seems to always work. Keep that in mind as you look for day care centers or even as you evaluate your child's current facility. If something in your gut concerns you -- or if something doesn't pass the smell test, check it out, ask questions, take action. The only thing you'll regret is not stepping in if you learn something is truly amiss.

Kelly Wallace is a mom of two and Chief Correspondent for iVillage. Follow Kelly on Twitter (@kellywallacetv).

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