Daycare Worker Could Face Charges

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Several parents and grandparents stayed home from work today to tend to their children after learning their trusted day care provider left eleven toddlers and babies at her home alone.

Investigators say Blackman Township's Jana Barnes left her home day care center for about fifty minutes Wednesday while she completed errands with her own child.

Barnes' clients say often times Barnes has a helper at her day care. They're not sure how or why Barnes decided to leave the house, but now the long-time day care provider could lose her license.

State records indicate Barnes has had her child care license since 1997, and she's never had any major violations. However, her case will be sent to a review board, and Barnes' license could be suspended or completely revoked.

Jim Sinnamon, Michigan's childcare licensing division director says state regulations require two adult caregivers to be present when more than seven kids are in a day care. He says leaving eleven infants and toddlers with no supervision is unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Sinnamon recommends parents become more involved in their child's day care. He says parents should show up unexpectedly at the day care to make sure everything is okay.

There are only 61 family service employees in the state. They are responsible for checking up on more than 19,000 child and family care centers in all of Michigan. The workers are only responsible for checking up on some day care centers every two years. As a result, some cases of day care violations could slip through the cracks.

Jackson County prosecutors are now reviewing Barnes' case. Representatives say it is possible Barnes could be charged with second-degree child abuse, which is punishable by time behind bars.


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