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Safety Measures May Increase for Minnesota Day Cares - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Safety Measures May Increase for Minnesota Day Cares

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Child care in Minnesota may soon become more closely regulated.

The Department of Human Services says they're fighting a sharp increase in the number of infant deaths in licensed child care homes.

In day cares across Minnesota, play time comes with its dangers.

"In 2006, there was a study- a mortality study- in Minnesota and there was a pretty sharp rise in deaths," Carol Beckstrom, Supervisor with Clay County Family Services, said.

The Department of Human Services says, in the last decade, 83 children died in licensed child care homes.

Now, counties are looking to tighten safety measures, and it means more supervision- even for Darcy Barry, who's been running a day care for more than 20 years.

"Whatever the state tells me to do, I'm gonna do it," Darcy said.

New legislation could mean more training courses, closer inspections and posting licensing information online.

"I do worry that some of this may prevent some of those people from becoming licensed if they otherwise would have," Beckstrom said.

These proposed regulations, however, won't stop Darcy from providing care.

"If that intimidates them then they don't need to be doing child care," she said.

As she knows, play time waits for no one.

The Department of Human Services also says 75-percent of the deaths that were mentioned happened when the child was sleeping. So, the majority of those proposed changes have to do with closer supervision and regulations on sleeping environments.

All 83 of those deaths happened in child care homes licensed for ten or more children, but the regulations would apply to all providers.

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