SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — It’s no secret that good childcare is expensive and hard to find. But how do you know you’re sending your child off to a place that’s following all the rules?
Marybeth Schuffenecker has been running a daycare out of her own home for 35 years.
“Just friends asking me if I wanted to watch their kids while they worked. So I said yes and I kind of got hooked,” Schuffenecker said.
But like many others, she didn’t see it as a career and at first, didn’t have a certification. Now, she’s going through training every two years, passes safety inspections, and has emergency plans to prove her preparedness.
“I learn so many different things. That someone who’s not registered might not know,” Schuffenecker said.
If you’re looking for physical evidence of certification, when you walk into a daycare center, you should see their registration posted on the wall. You’ll also be able to find the reports from their latest inspections.
“A very small percentage of the programs that I have seen or heard about are not doing things that are in the best interest of children. But the majority of programs are and are meeting minimal standards at the very least,” said Beth Henderson, Director of Regulatory Services for Childcare Solutions.
Childcare Solutions oversees daycares in the area. Of the complaints they’ve gotten since January, more than half are about daycares not following the law or meeting requirements.
In New York, anyone watching three or more children who are not related to them for more than three hours a day needs to be regulated or licensed.
“You might get frustrated at times, ‘Oh you gotta do this, this, and this.’ But in the long run, I’ve grown to love so many families. Not just the kids, but their parents too,” Schuffenecker said.
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