An increasing number of families are now dual-income families, and with the economic woes that have befallen the States, and the world at large, this sociological trend will not be going away any time soon. This means that there is less time for parents to provide care for their children, as they are too busy making ends meet. Day care is becoming a necessity for more parents, but with the economic pressures compounded with the stress of day-to-day life with kids, some parents can too hastily enroll their kids in a program that could end up endangering them. The most recent day care horror story to be brought to the attention of parents is that of Maria Sosa who ran an unregulated day care and whose inattentiveness resulted in the drowning of a child she had been caring for for months. While this story is resulting in parents demanding more regulation and oversight of day care facilities, the fact remains that the vast majority of care facilities still are not certified, so, for now, parents themselves are responsible for doing the legwork in finding a safe facility. Although it is more costly, always to make sure that your day care is licensed. It is tempting to rely solely on your own network to decide on a daycare, or just opt for a daycare that your children’s friends frequent. Many recent day care horror stories can be traced back to unlicensed day cares, and there is a reason—they are often, but not always, run by people trying to make a quick buck, who don’t have your child’s care at heart. Even thoughtful caretakers who are unlicensed often don’t have the same set of skills to fall back on in the event of a tragedy, and that can cost lives. Day care licensing is pricey and tedious for many who are interested in starting a day care, but the laborious process ensures that only those who are really devoted to child care will be involved. Although requirements vary from state-to-state, licensed day cares provide not only safer care, but more educational and social development for your child. Licensed day cares generally require that everyone working there be CPR certified, meaning that if something goes wrong, your child’s caretaker will be prepared to handle a crisis. Furthermore, day care attendants at certified are normally required to pass a criminal background check to ensure that no attendants who have history of harmful criminal behavior can be in contact with your children. Moreover, take the time to tour the facility and investigate any possible health or safety hazards for your children. Also, keep a sharp eye on how the children at the facility behave and how they are dealt with. If the care attendants largely ignore the children in order to pay attention to you, you can bet they will do the same to your child when another client comes in, so make sure the workers have the right priority—kids! As a parent, you also have the right and responsibility to monitor your children and request more information if you feel uncomfortable with a situation. One of the most disturbing stories of 2013 is that of Heather Koon who worked at a day care in Ohio and was found guilty of sexually abusing several of the children at the day care where she worked. Koon slipped through the cracks as her actions were on behalf of her boyfriend—a registered sex offender—who got her to film her crimes This is a nightmare that no parent should face, so if you have questions, ask them! Although finding a great day care can cost a lot in money and time, your children and their development and well being are worth it. By investing the time and money now, you can ensure that your children are not only well cared for, but being equipped to get a head-start in life. Aaron Kramer is a retired security officer and wannabe novelist who currently writes with Instant Criminal Checks. Ever since he had his first child, he has been committed to sharing his knowledge in the field to help young parents and caretakers ensure the well being of their loved ones.me4kidz-new