Clearing up the confusion about home-based daycare laws

(WTVM) - After an east Alabama babysitter admitted to shaking and slamming a baby down causing very serious injuries- viewers took to our Facebook page to express their opinions.

Authorities tell us Fort Mitchell daycare owner 31-year-old Sherae Reich had at least 7 children inside her home-based daycare the day she admitted to abusing a 2-month-old little girl.

According to authorities Reich is not licensed to run a home-based daycare in Alabama.

Many of you voiced your concerns about home-based daycares and the law, so we checked with authorities to clear up some of the confusion.

  • In Alabama, a person providing care for one or more children who are not related to them must obtain a license. It doesn't matter if they are getting compensated or not.
  • A caregiver at a home daycare may not have more than six children in the home during the day.
  • Caregivers must submit to medical record's proving they are not detrimental to the children in their care.
  • A Department of Human Resources representative will examine the home on several occasions to make sure all codes are being met.

We asked Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor if Reich is mentally ill, and he says she most likely will be evaluated.

The Alabama DHR also completes thorough criminal history and medical background checks of the babysitter and anyone living inside the home.

These are some questions you'll want to ask your next potential babysitter- after all they are applying for a job.

  • First, ask about previous child care experience. You'd want to know if the person has specialized training for child care- such as CPR.
  • What activities do they have planned? Will your child be engaged throughout the day?
  • What will they do if your child is behaving badly? You want to know how the babysitter plans to discipline your child.
  • Last but not least, always ask for references and call them!

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