HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi State Department of Health has released a tool to help parents who have children in child care or in need of child care services.
It's been years in the making, and now there's an online database where parents can search specific information regarding licensed child care facilities in our state.
"Too high, too high and a lot of them are careless and don't really watch the kids," mother of two Heather Calvin said
Calvin is referring to the operation of day cares across Mississippi. She opted out of child care for her two children, and said the stigma behind quality care is real.
"Just can't trust it,"Calvin said. "A lot of people there just act like they don't want to be around kids. They show you they do, but once the parent leaves they may abuse them or try and hurt them."
The Mississippi State Department of Health now has a way parents can check on child care facilities before children are placed inside them. Once you select what city you are looking for in the database and what guidelines you need checked, the website provides specific features helpful to parents and guardians.
"Well, it may be a good thing for some parents and make it easier for them to find a daycare," Calvin said. "You can see their ratings and see if it's a good or bad place."
Performance information, inspections, investigations and monetary penalties are all things you can check for within the database. You can also find out what facilities are among the Mississippi Department of Human Services Child Care Certificate program. The goal is simple, MSDH said they are making it easy for caregivers to make informed decisions on where to safely place children.
"If they have it set up on the website where they can see the ratings or see about them and read about them, they may know whether they can trust them or not with their kids," Calvin said.
Prior to the launch of the database, information on complaints and inspections were available to the public, but you had to make a written request for a specific facility.
You can check out the free website here here.