New online database allows parents to easily research child care - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

New online database allows parents to easily research child care centers

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Ever wonder what goes on behind closed doors at your child's day care? A new online database gives parents easy access to documents, including inspections from the Department of Health.

The search is pretty simple. Select the city or county and get a list of all the centers. From there, you can see basic licensing info like what ages they serve and their capacity. You can also find the latest inspection documents or existing investigations.

The hope here is to empower parents to really take a hard look at what's happening within the four walls of the child care center they select for their children.

"The more knowledge that you're armed with, the more information that you have, the better decision that you can make for your child," described Melissa Parker, Director of the Office of Licensure.

There's also the potential for an added level of accountability when centers realize the information will be readily available without the red tape of a records request.

"These facilities look at each other and they compete for business for child care," added Parker.

While the search is limited right now, it will have information added going forward.

"This will be the starting point for us," Parker explained. "So, July 1st forward, all that information will be in there. They're still welcome to file a public records request with us to get anything prior to July 1st."

The Department of Health knows parents may not be accustomed to viewing these documents. So, they may have questions about the documents. They say that's OK and suggest you follow up with a call to the health department to find out whether it's something that could impact your child's safety or well-being.

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