Imagine getting ready to drop your child off at daycare only to learn the site is closed and your next stop has to be the doctor because your child needs a drug test. That happened to half a dozen families recently. Families that were using Amanda Taylor Child Care based out of a house on west 60th Street in Davenport not only have to look for a new provider, they also have to get their kids checked out.
Police arrested a man living at the home who admitted to making methamphetamine there and they found meth making materials as well. The concern now is that kids could have been exposed.
"It could be residue on a spoon, it could be residue on anything, little kids put stuff in their mouths," said Roger Munns, an Iowa DHS spokesman. In this case, that could expose them to meth or chemicals used to make it.
When police arrested Dale Blumer, they found several key ingredients. Court records show the 34-year old admitted to making meth about 20 times in the past month in the house, where his live-in girlfriend ran an in-home daycare.
'When our experts went to the scene and learned that this had happened we contacted all the parents and urged them to get drug tests for their kids," said Munns. He says it's policy in a case like this. If parents can't afford that the state finds the funds to pay for those tests.
"It's unlawful to make meth anyway, but particularly dangerous if you do it around kids," added Munns.
Munns says DHS workers work to protect our youngest citizens. Day care providers must undergo training and background checks, fill out paperwork and many times will get surprise visits from inspectors. It's something that happens at least once a year at the 1,500 licensed providers in Iowa. However, that doesn't always happen at the 4,500 registered in-home providers in the state.
"We attempt to visit each home, but we acknowledge, we don't get to every one every year," he added.
Munns says regulations only go so far. Parents should log on to the state website, look for recommendations from other parents, and even drop by a potential daycare for an unexpected visit. "It's worth the time that you put into it to make sure you are comfortable, it's a pretty important job they are doing."