• Website changes could help parents choose better day care for children

    By: Carl Willis

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, or DECAL, has added features to its website to help parents make sure their children's day care is safe. 

    The website has an online database where parents can find information on programs in their area.

    The new features on the online database allow families to search among more than 5,000 licensed child care and preschool programs throughout the state.

    They can also view multiple years of health and safety inspection reports and see the results of complaints against the program that have been proven. 

    "There's more information than ever before," said DECAL Commissioner Amy Jacobs.

    Channel 2 Action News reported last month about a mother who said her son was left alone on a day care van for hours. Erica Brown pulled her son out of Elite Kindercare in southeast Atlanta after the incident. The day care's license was revoked last week because of the incident and for failing to report it to DECAL. 

    "Just being able to trust someone again as far as transportation-wise, it's been very difficult," Brown said. 

    The enhanced website allows parents to compare programs, check the costs and even see teacher qualifications and credentials in some cases. 

    "I think this just brings awareness and gives parents a chance to say, 'What happened back in November?' and gives providers a chance to say, 'This is what happened and this is what we've done to correct it," Jacobs said. 

    Brown said this kind of information can help families make the correct choice in one of the most important decisions.

    "You can go on the website for schools all day and they can change their reviews. So for DECAL to get involved, I think it's great," she said. 

    While the online information is important, Jacobs said parents should still go to the day care and see the operation in person.

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