For working parents with young children finding childcare is typically a major concern and quest. This is often especially true in cities like New York City where many working parents attempt to find childcare near their residences or workplaces to avoid even lengthier commutes and additional daycare costs.
For many families in New York City, the costs associated with having an infant or toddler in a licensed daycare facility have become unaffordable with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand citing that, annually, the average family spends roughly $16,250 for infant care and $11,650 for toddler care. As an alternative, some desperate parents turn to unlicensed daycare providers who are often less costly and, by all outward accounts, appear to run safe and legitimate businesses.
Earlier this month, a three-month-old boy died at an unlicensed daycare center located in a SoHo residence. According to an article in the New York Daily News, at the time of the boy's death, a total of 15 children between the ages of three months and three years old were in the care of four daycare workers including the owner of the residence and illegal childcare operation.
A police report filed after the boy's death details that his mother dropped the baby off on what was his first day at the facility and her first day back at work. She told the daycare provider that she would return around noon to feed the baby and also left a bottle of breast milk in case he grew hungry.
One of the childcare workers fed the baby the bottle and laid him down for a nap. Shortly thereafter, the center's owner noticed that the baby's lips were blue and that he was not breathing. While she attempted to administer CPR with the help of a 911 operator, neither she nor any of the other workers were trained in the life-saving emergency technique and the baby died.
The illegal and unlicensed daycare center has reportedly been in operation for 15 years. Just a few months ago, city officials responded to a tip that an illegal childcare business being run out of the residence. Their efforts to investigate, however, proved inconclusive and no further action was taken.
New York City parents whose child has suffered harm, injury or death while in the care of a daycare provider would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney.