Unlicensed Daycare Operators Could Face Scrutiny

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – More than 1,000 operators of unlicensed Indiana day cares could face closer scrutiny or lose federal money under proposals lawmakers are considering.

The moves to improve day-care safety come as concern rises over the number of deaths in child-care facilities. An Indianapolis Star investigation (http://indy.st/19uOlAa ) found that 15 of the 21 day-care deaths since 2009 occurred in unlicensed or illegal facilities.

Indiana already requires home day-care providers who look after six or more children not related to them to be trained in health and safety precautions. But homes with five or fewer are unlicensed and are exempt from state scrutiny.

The state currently has 27 day-care inspectors and spends $2.5 million a year to license and inspect the more than 4,700 facilities under state oversight.