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Analysis of Child Daycare Home Problems in Michigan and Some Suggestions to Improve the Situation CJ Chung, Ph. D. Associate Professor of Computer Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Analysis of Child Daycare Home Problems in Michigan and Some Suggestions to Improve the Situation CJ Chung, Ph. D. Associate Professor of Computer Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Analysis of Child Daycare Home Problems in Michigan and Some Suggestions to Improve the Situation CJ Chung, Ph. D. Associate Professor of Computer Science Lawrence Technological University Revised 3-2-06

2 Contents Background and History Problems Unique Characteristics of Daycare home business Child Day Care Accidents – Data Why more accidents in daycare homes? Problems of using the basement State vs. Local City government Problems with neighbors Suggestions Conclusion and Summary Epilog

3 Background 72% of moms are working It was only 39% in 1970 Increased demand high cost of day care Example: $234 per week in a center in Troy for a two year old girl. (See below for her brother in daycare home) State budget cuts for child care assistance program Crisis for low-income working families Day care homes were welcomed!! Affordable and flexible Example: $175 per week for a 6-month old son; many daycare homes provide even cheaper service.

4 Types of Daycare Homes CapacityFull-time employee State inspection Family Daycare Home 1 – 6 childrenNot needed10% randomly selected per year (*) Group Daycare Home 6 – 12 childrentwo caregivers required. Must hire full-time employee(s) Every two years (*) Detroit News, Sep. 14, 2003

5 History of Daycare Homes Child Care Licensing Act enacted in 1973 in Michigan State courts ruled that family day care homes were permitted in all residential areas (Zinger vs. Beverly Island) But group day care homes are not. Currently, townships and counties can not prohibit licensed group homes State laws do not have the same restrictions in Cities Some cities changed zoning ordinance to allow: e.g. Farmington Hills (2005 City Council - yes 4, no 3) There are thousands of group day care homes in cities that have been operated illegally in their homes for more than 30 years…

6 Percent of Children Served by Types of Child Care in MI Child Care Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services (2000-2004)

7 Number of registered child care facilities in Michigan Feb. 11, 2006, MI/DHS website 9,105 3,756 4,868

8 Unique Characteristics of Home Daycare Business Home Child Daycare Business Other Home Businesses Business Hours 6am to 10pm (more than full-time) 9 to 5 (or many cases, part time) Out door area use YesNo Customer service pattern ParallelSequential Customer arrival/departure time pattern Dense: early morning (6am-9am) and evening (3pm-6pm) scattered Number of travels per customer 2 (come, drop-off, and go; come, pick-up, and go) 1 (come, stay, go) Safety issues involved Yes (Many tragic accidents occurred) No Customer age Infants, young parentsNo infants, no babies Special license required YesUsually no Special inspection required YesNo Full-time employees Yes (Group day care only)Usually no. Amount of extra city service (sewer, trash, etc.) needed LargeSmall

9 Child care accidents: Number of suspensions, revocations, and refusal to renew Source: MI/DHS website

10 Percent of violations by type of care in Michigan 2000-2004 Source: MI/DHS website

11 Types of Home Daycare Violations Sexual contact/molestation/assault Example: … (see the full article) Many cases by minor household member Improper physical contact/punishment; abuse Example: Police found 5 children strapped into car seats inside bedroom closets (Sep. 2003) Negligence / inadequate supervision Example: 3-month-old infant dead in the basement in Troy (July 2003) Many children floating dead in hot tubs and pools Children health and safety violation Example: Drugs and guns in the day care home

12 Examples of incidents From a few daycare homes

13 Relatively more violations / accidents in group homes Percent of Children ServedPercent of violations

14 Relatively more violations / accidents in daycare homes … Percent of violations Percent of number of facilities

15 Why relatively more accidents in day care homes? Home are located, designed and built to maximize privacy Caregivers may have feeling that no one is watching them! This may welcome negligence, violence, and temptation In many cases, homes are not designed and built for the safety of several babies Home furniture is not designed and located for the safety of children Lack of State inspection: Detroit News, Sep. 14, 2003

16 Problems of Basement Usage for the Care of Infants No or limited sunlight is available in the basement Infants especially on northern hemisphere during winter need enough sunlight. Vitamin D is an unusual nutrient, because people get only 10% from food the other 90 percent comes from the skin, created by exposure to sunlight [JAMA 2005] Dampness promotes the growth of mold and other microbial agents Sufficient evidence of an association between damp indoor environments and some upper respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and asthma Excess moisture may initiate the release of chemical emissions from damaged building materials and furnishings because of the dampness, there are many harmful insects such earwigs, spiders, and centipedes. Radon is an invisible radioactive gas in the basement. Children are particularly susceptible the second leading cause of lung cancer Recently DHS is requiring radon test

17 Problems of State, City, and Group Day care providers State says it is a business

18 Dispute with some Neighbors Noise problem: see next slide Invasion of privacy: see next slide Parking: see next slide Increased traffic: obviously additional cars Safety The name of the road where car accidents are occurring most frequently in the USA? Your own drive way! Many children died or injured on the driveway while cars were backing over. Home owner is responsible, if a daycare child is injured or killed in your territory Increased demand for city services: e.g. 6 trash cans Beautification problem due to trash cans and ugly screens without standards Lowering property value of neighbor homes

19 Examples of noise early in the morning when neighbors might be sleeping Slamming the entrance door (if side door is used) Slamming car doors (while holding a baby with the other arm) Occasionally, babies are crying & screaming when they enter the day care home. More frequent in winter. It is said that screaming baby sound is one of the loudest sounds in nature. (85 decibel, ff) Parents usually talks to their baby before going into the day care home When customers start the car When customers use remote key to lock the car When daycare owner shovel snow very early in the morning before their customers arrive When customers talk/phone outside of the home, sometimes

20 Examples of noise during the day The same problem as listed in the previous slide when parents are coming to pick up babies Screaming children when they play outside of the day care home Noise when the group day care employee dumps trashes into trash cans usually placed outside

21 Noise and invasion of privacy case in Troy Group Day Care Home Garage Dinning room window Day care door 17.8 Drive way Drop off area 27.99 Master bedroom

22 Another noise case Day Care Home Side by side Neighbor Outdoor Play area Window

23 Parking Problem Case Day Care Home Driveway Neighbor Z Critical section!

24 Troy City Planning Commission's Decision on Dec. 13, 2005 - not to recommend allowing group daycare homes for the following reasons: Negative impact on the neighboring property owners Michigan Building Code Requirement Violation such as automatic sprinklers in basements Michigan barrier-free design and the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act There is nothing within the child care licensing law that exempts these facilities from the Michigan Building Code provisions. The current ordinance allows for family day care homes but limits enrollment thus permitting a needed service while minimizing the intrusion and negative impact on neighboring properties

25 Troy City Planning Commission's Decision on Dec. 13, 2005 - In case City Council wants to allow them, they recommended the following reasonable conditions (listed only important ones): To maximize the safety and the privacy and to minimize noise for the neighboring properties, Group Daycare Homes shall be allowed on properties greater than one-half acre in size and having a minimum side yard setback of 20 feet Group Daycare Homes with vehicular access on a major thoroughfare shall be required to have a circular drive or an unobstructed turnaround area. To maximize the safety and the privacy for the neighboring properties, if the outdoor play area is located on the premises, the play area shall be fenced or screened with a 6-foot high fence. The applicant shall identify the entrance(s) for drop-offs and pickups. The parking and drop-off areas shall be designed to maximize safety and privacy, and minimize noise for the neighboring properties. To prevent the commercialization of residential districts, Group Day Care Homes shall be not be located within 1,000 feet of another state licensed residential facility. Suggested to add by Chung

26 Suggestions and Solutions Long-term suggestions Promote parent care!! More Centers with affordable fees: see next slide Mixed-use zone development Short-term feasible solutions State and city must work together Reasonable city ordinance for considering neighbors in strictly restricted residential zone Subdivision design considerations: see next slides Caring neighbors: examples – more trees, screens, fences, Electric Snow Melting System on the driveway! Open door policy for the real quality child care Wireless smart sensors and pervasive computing technologies to prevent from accidents

27 We need more institution supported Centers! – See the national data below* Percent of Children Served by Types of Care (National 2000-2004) (*) Child Care Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services (2000-2004) Michigan : National 16% : 58%

28 Subdivision Design Considerations I Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Living area Garage Better

29 Subdivision Design Considerations II Day Care Home Driveway Neighbor A Day Care Home Driveway Neighbor A Better 30

30 Summary Daycare homes are relatively accident-prone because homes were *not* located, designed, and built for large scale daycare service Parents need to analyze carefully pros and cons of putting their children in daycare homes Some daycare homes caused some clashes in the community due to problems such as noise, parking, invasion of privacy, etc. Need a good city zoning ordinance for the future with common sense, without biases

31 Conclusion Do not let your children start their first lives in illegal facilities any more Homes are *not* located / designed / built for caring many children Some neighbors have been bothered by some daycare businesses The State and City must view residential zoning regulations as a covenant with citizens who purchase property in the city, and citys actions must honor this commitment or City must have strict restrictions

32 Epilog In order to prove problems, the author took some photos and videotaped day care customers from inside his house. He gave the videotape to the group day care home owner to watch how serious the problem was. He submitted the photos after block out faces of the customers to the city planning commissioners when they had public hearings. But the neighbor filed petition for personal protection order (PPO) against stalking to the Oakland County Circuit Court. The neighbor claims that the author harassed her by taking photos and videotaping her – which is not true. If the judge signs the PPO, then the author will be treated as a criminal and entered into LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) that is available throughout the Untied States. The author as well as his attorney firmly believes he has the right to document, take photos, and videotape illegal activities violating city ordinance. His intention was to provide data to city planners when they amend ordinance, in order not to repeat the same troubles. The author does not think American citizens are blocked to report the evidence of illegal activities to local government for public hearings. As a professor teaching classes in the evening, the author just wants to enjoy a sound sleep in the morning and feeling of peacefulness, tranquility, and privacy in his home in the residential area.

33 Is this OK? Slamming car doors Screaming babies Master bedroom Loud noise when SUVs engine starts Think of max. 13 cars at 6 A.M.!

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