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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Tips for choosing a safe daycare provider for your child

CASS COUNTY — Alison Dorsey of Anita, IA has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of an 11-week-old baby at her daycare. The Cass County Attorney ...

CASS COUNTY — Alison Dorsey of Anita, IA has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of an 11-week-old baby at her daycare.

The Cass County Attorney said the infant suffered from internal bleeding and evidence revealed injuries of shaken baby syndrome.

So if you’re a new parent, how do you choose the safest place for your baby to stay while you’re at work?

“If you need to go back to work, you’re trying to find somebody to care for your child,” Regional Director for Childcare Resource and Referral Lora Patton said.

That can be one of the hardest decisions to make.

“This person is going to be with your child more waking hours than you are,” Patton said.

Patton said to make sure you ask providers a lot of questions before you make a decision.

“What’s your background? What’s your training? Do you attend training? Are you first aid and CPR trained?” Patton said.

The state of Iowa does not require parents to pick a registered home or licensed daycare, so Local 5 did some digging.

We looked up Alison Dorsey on the Department of Human Services licensing daycare website, but no results were found.

When asked if a child care shortage may be why some parents choose non-registered providers, Patton said she thinks it can be.

Patton also explained that the price of daycare makes an impact. That’s why families seek referrals.

“Some things parents can look for with that is if the space is clean and in good repair for children to be in. There’s a safe place for children to sleep, especially infants. It’s a crib or a pack and play and not just an adult bed or couch,” Patton said.

Patton told Local 5 she helps over 200 families in central Iowa per month look for daycares.

Parents, if you see something at your child’s daycare that might not look right, you can call the Childcare Complaint Hotline at 844-786-1296.