Lufkin daycares say proposed changes to standards could turn away kids

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Every six years the Child Care Licensing Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (D.F.P.S.)Council reviews and proposes changes to child care minimum standards.

Of the proposed changes to state child care minimum standards, the new, lower ratio of two and three year olds to one adult care-giver may have the biggest impact.

"Two less kids and we were looking at the other one and its like three less kids and there's one of them that's four. It's changing and its dropping," said Carlos Maldonado, Co-owner/Manager - Jack-N-Jill Daycare.

According to D.F.P.S. the ratio change is in reaction to research showing the dramatic benefits of extra attention.

"The less kids the more attention you give the kids and less injuries as well," said Maldonado.

If the state decides to lower the ratio of children to adult care-givers, both owners of the small Lufkin daycares say they would have to cut the number of kids they teach versus the hiring more teachers.

"They're only proposing to drop it just by a few kids and that doesn't justify having to pay another teacher," said Candi Rhodes, Owner/Director - Humpty Dumpty Daycare.

"It hurts that we care about the kids a lot and if we lose some its you know we can't - hard to choose who to lose," said Maldonado.

Higher child care rates could be the response to less tuition coming in.

"We probably would because less kids is less tuition to pay those teachers," said Rhodes.

There's a fear low-income families may resort to unregistered, unlicensed care if rates go up.

"The lack of people being there and seeing what's going on during the day and just not having the bare minimum standards," said Rhodes.

Carlos Maldanado says he will abide by all minimum standards whatever they turn out to be.

"I can see where they're coming from and I understand where they're coming from and it's something we got to deal with," said Maldonado.

Because both daycares know that just like them, Texas has the best interest of their children at heart.

The public is encouraged to provide input on the proposed minimum standard changes before July 12th.

Just email with your comments.

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