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TN woman watching 10 kids in unlicensed daycare, child death reveals harrowing moments | WFXL
TN woman watching 10 kids in unlicensed daycare, child death reveals harrowing moments | WFXL
TN woman watching 10 kids in unlicensed daycare, child death reveals harrowing moments | WFXL

Published on: 02/12/2024

Description

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A 6-month-old baby died at an unlicensed daycare in South Nashville on Thursday, and medical examiners are still working to determine the official cause of death.

Metro Police responded to the single-bedroom apartment off Welshwood Drive, where investigators say 10 children were being watched by a 33-year-old woman- all under the age of three.

The woman didn’t speak English, but agreed to speak with FOX 17 News Reporter Kelly Avellino, with the help of a family member. We are not releasing her name, since police say there are no charges at this point.

The woman, who is not licensed to run a daycare, said she put the baby down for a nap in a baby chair in the afternoon. She said she checked on the child sometime later, but the infant wouldn't wake up. The woman said she tried unsuccessfully to revive the baby.

The child's mother arrived to pick up the child moments into the harrowing ordeal, and called 911. Emergency crews rushed the infant to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt where she was pronounced dead. Police said there were no signs of trauma on the infant. However, an autopsy will ultimately determine the official cause of death.

“Nearly half of all children in Tennessee live in what is known as a child care desert,” said Cindy Lehnhoff, Director of the National Child Care Association.

Lehnhoff said finding affordable childcare nationwide, and in Tennessee, is a significant challenge attributed to a shortage of skilled caretakers post Covid and expensive labor costs. Daycare workers often move on to work in the public school sector where they make considerably more money, have retirement plans and summer vacation.

A lack of affordable childcare can lead some parents to use friends, neighbors or unlicensed caretakers, who are not regulated or tracked. If the woman in this situation had been licensed, she would've needed at least two adults to care for 10 children under the age of three, according to Heather Hicks, the Director of the Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral Network.

"Unfortunately, we have had several different deaths throughout the years with children who are in unregulated care," said Hicks.

The woman charged $25 a day per child, according to police.

Hicks urges parents to research licensed child care providers and financial support, which can both be found on the Tennessee Department of Human Service’s website.

She also implores parents ask frank questions about how their children are being watched.

“What is your supervision like?" Hicks questions. "How will my child be sleeping? Will somebody be checking on my child while they’re sleeping? What is your policy on parents dropping in?”

The woman tells FOX 17 News she has stopped watching other people's children, which were mainly the children of her friends, for now. The baby girl who passed was from Honduras, and was the youngest of three siblings.

Metro Nashville Police Department has referred this childcare operation case to Department of Children's Services.

Get reports like this and all the news of the day in Middle Tennessee delivered to your inbox each morning with the FOX 17 News Daily Newsletter.

News Source : https://wfxl.com/news/nation-world/2024-south-nashville-tennessee-woman-watching-10-kids-in-unlicensed-daycare-child-death-reveals-harrowing-moments-childcare-middle-tn

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