Sad topic in the region m

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sad topic in the region m
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 7:03pm
I heard this on the radio today,and some people from this town called in.Most were saying that this woman was well -known, and had an excellent reputation for taking care of kids.Everyone who called in who knew of her professed ignorance that she was unlicensed.It has since come out,and I'll post tomorrows story,that she had a SIDS death while licensed,but had her license yanked due to abuse *15 years ago*.

I don't want to make this a dc is horrible story-I know good dcs and I think dc can be good for older kids-but these stories keep coming up around here about in home dc's,and the parents always profess complete ignrorance that the dc was illegal,or there were too many kids,etc.She charged $100 a week,and most dcs here chrage $300-400 a week.Reading(and Stoneham) is a a very nice,middle to upper middle class town... do these parents not know it is illegal,do they think $100 is a reasonable amount,or do they not care,or are middle to upper middle people unable to afford more than 100 dollars a week for dc?

If the all the parents who used it are found by DSS to have known it was illeagl,should they face charges?

Saturday, June 7, 2003

Infant dies at 'illegal' day-care center

READING (AP) -- Authorities were investigating the "suspicious" death of an infant who stopped breathing earlier this week at an alleged underground day-care center that officials had already shut down once before.

Three-month old McKenzie Rose Corrigan of Stoneham was pronounced dead Thursday night at Children's Hospital in Boston, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office said. Preliminary autopsy reports did not determine a cause of death but spokesman Seth Horwitz said authorities were treating it as a "suspicious" incident.

Department of Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence said authorities were trying to determine whether the child suffered an "inflicted" injury.

"We got a call that we had a 4-month-old baby not breathing," said Reading Fire Capt. Gordon Sargent. "We got to the house and that's what we found. It's the call that we all dread the most."

A DSS report said that Anne Power of Reading was caring for 13 children, from 3 months to 6 years old, at an illegal day care center run out of her home. Authorities had shut down the operation once before.

Sargent said there were several other children in the house when firefighters arrived.

"The other children we saw were sleeping and there were some out in the back deck area," he said.

A man who opened the door to the Powers home Friday would not talk to reporters.

The Powers' home, at 16 Francis Drive in Reading, had four cars parked under a basketball hoop in its circular driveway late last night. Two more cars sat across the street.

An American flag hangs over the front door of the colonial home, in a cul-de-sac with about 20 homes. Stickers supporting Reading Youth Baseball and the Friends of Reading Hockey are shown in the windows of the front door. A closed-in deck is attached to the rear of the house and the backyard is fenced in.

Power called 911 at 12:39 p.m. Wednesday when she discovered McKenzie wasn't breathing, according to the state report. The infant was covered with a blanket when Power tried to wake her, but was pale and not responsive, the report said.

Power splashed water on McKenzie and performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before calling 911. Power said she had to call five times before the line was answered, the state report said.

"We found the baby wasn't breathing," Sargent said. "There were no physical signs of abuse that we could see."

Sargent said only a completed autopsy could determine whether or not there was abuse.

"Maybe they found something at the hospital that we didn't," he said.

Spence said DSS was interviewing parents of other children at the facility to see if they were aware of its unlicensed status.

Sargent said firefighters called the hospital to find out the condition of the baby later on, but the hospital refused to tell them because of recent legal changes in patient confidentiality.

"This is not a desperately poor community where you're talking about a single mother working two jobs and can't afford day care," Spence said. "Here you're talking about a reasonably affluent community and apparently people were willing to pay for back-room, cut-rate day care."

Sargent said his department gets many calls for babies choking or having difficulty breathing, "but to go out and actually find a case where the baby is in respiratory arrest is fairly unusual," he said.

Celia Logsdon, of 15 Francis Drive, said she did not know the Powers well, but in her experience they have been good neighbors. Other neighbors who declined to give their names echoed her statements.

The Reading phonebook lists one day-care provider and two nursery schools in town, the Child Care Providers Network and the Humpty Dumpty and the Sawyer nursery schools. Less than three miles away, two child-care centers on Route 28 in North Reading prominently display signs -- Mulberry Child Care and Bright Horizons.

The investigation is being headed by Reading Police Lt. Det. Kevin Patterson, police said. Anyone with information can call the Reading Police at (781) 944-1212.

Staff Writer Charlie Russo contributed to this report.

Next Story: Church closing doors forever


Copyright© 2003 Eagle-Tribune Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Contact Online editor


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 7:29pm
Should the parents be held responsible? I dunno know. Are the parents ignorant, HELL YES! They can't use the whole I didn't know story, who the hell drops their kids off somewhere and doesn't know if they are licensed? Who the hell doesn't check their file with the appropriate licensing dept? Who the hell would leave their child in a place with 13 kids? You know what, these parents probably thought they were getting a bargain at the rate they got. When will people get it, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! One thing in my life I have NEVER scrimped on and never will is childcare.

It is sad that their are so many ignorant parents out there. I honestly think the blame lies most on the parents who took their children there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:07pm
Whenever I see in home dcs being advertised in the paper,it ALWAYS says at the top of the column"MA law requires all in home dcs to be licensed and the licensing number must be provided",and the ads will have their licensing number.I looked at an in home dc that I thought was a preschool center for the summer,and she had her license displayed and her licensing number on her brochures.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 1:35am
I completely agree with you on this. When I was looking for childcare, I started with a list of lisenced providers, checked them out, checked references, then check with the state to see if there had been any complaints or violations. I also did this well in advance to when I would need childcare, because the good program tend to have 6-12 month waiting lists.

It upsets me that middle, upper middle class parents would choose to leave their children in substandard care. It seems like they should re-evaluate their priorities.

I run into people who are shocked at how much I spend on childcare. I could easily find a licensed provider that charged less than half of what I currently pay. I am just not comfortable with ratios of 1:12, which is legal here. As you said, you get what you pay for. Risking my child's welfare isn't worth saving $300-$400/month on childcare.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 5:50am
"Should the parents be charged?" Charged with what? If it is illegal to use illegal home daycare, then they would have to charge ALL the parents who were using it.

It was stupid not to check for the license, but stupidity isn't illegal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 6:42am
It sounds harsh, but I agree. That's one thing parents simply can't afford to ignore. Providers should be licensed and parents should check up on the provider's status. I know some folks think it's okay to use unlicensed providers and in some states its even legal, but I think it's just too risky to use unlicensed providers. Is the license a guarantee? Nope, but you have to wonder why someone who is a great provider wouldn't go the extra mile to get the license...and for me personally, that's a non-negotiable issue.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 10:37am
Should the parents be charged???

As of right now, there is NO PROOF nor any INDICATION that there was any wrongdoing or neglect that caused the baby's death. I am not proposing that running an unliscensed day care is okay, but don't convict the dc provider or the parents based on this article. All deaths that occur outside a hospital are considered suspicious unless it is the direct result of an accident that people saw... INCLUDING SIDS... the fact that this one occured at an unliscensed daycare may just have given the media something to gnaw on for the day..

Judge not... at least not yet...

Mary Beth
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 10:48am
The ratio's for my sons age here are 1:12 also and I have never felt comfortable with that. When I was looking for a school for him I found that the majority of DC's take in as many as the law allows with no consideration as to whether or not their care was optimal. I found a private prep school that is from infant to 8th grade. They have set their own ratio's and it is half what the state allows. My son has a total of 6 kids in his class at the most. I feel it is impossible to give quality care to 12 kids, I know I couldn't do it myself and I think I am a pretty good caregiver. I, like you, pay more than most centers charge, but the cost isn't relevant when it comes to care for my chidlren.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 11:49am
Well,I heard most of this on a radio call in show,so it may not all be correct, but DSS will be interviewing ALL the parents to find out if they checked for a license,if they saw all the kids there,and so on.The DSS spokesperson seemed pretty disgusted w/ all the parents.

Should it be neglect to leave your kids in an unlicensed place?It is easy enough to check if a place is licensed.I think we should hold parents acountable for using places like this.

The story before this was an in home dc in NH that was selling drugs in the parking lot.The parents said,"Oh,well,the kids were inside" like that was OK ,and they were ticked off they had to find a new dc!

Avatar for virgogirl914
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 11:54am
I agree with the other poster who mentioned that the child being in illegal care may have nothing whatsoever to do with the circumstances surrounding her tragic death.

Having said that, I do think that tragedies such as this are often catalysts for raising community awareness or concern about child care quality and licensing status.

One of the counties my organization services has recently had their licensing surveyor retire. The new licensing surveyor (who may already be quitting, whole 'nother story) actually felt the providers should have to follow licensing regulations AND that if they were aware of illegal child care providers that the providers should report them. The WHOLE town is in an uproar about this. . .they've all known this illegal care was going on and didn't care. This 'outsider' came in and now the situation has hit 'hornet's nest' proportions.

Generally it takes a tragedy such as the one in your area or an 'outsider' such as in my area to make the public care about illegal care.

Do I think parents should be charged. . .don't know that it would help reduce the use of illegal care. Seems as though the community, in general, didn't care about the use of illegal care. . .maybe the community should be charged with apathy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 12:27pm
Personally, I don't have issue with someone choosing to have their children cared for by someone who is unlicensed, as long as they are informed of it. However, I do have issue with 13 kids THESE AGES in the care of one adult. UGH. I'm not sure it is even possible to properly care for all those kids at those ages all by ones self.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14