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Parents desperate for daycare, must be aware of potential safety hazards

Last year, the New York Daily Post published an article about the rising costs of day care in New York City. During 2015, parents in the city could expect to pay an average of $16,250 per child for day care and "the cost of childcare overall is increasing by $1,612." The basic economic principle of supply and demand is contributing to the rising costs of day care in the city as many working parents are desperate to find a space for an infant or toddler close to where they live or work.

Both in-home and facility-based childcare centers in the city must be licensed by the Department of Buildings. As part of the licensure process, DOB officials inspect a day care's premise to ensure that specific building safety codes are being followed and that a premise is generally safe and free of known hazards.

Parents trust that day care facilities and providers are inspected, maintained, licensed and safe. This isn't, however, always the case. A recent article on the website, details the numerous safety deficiencies and violations that plague a Harlem building in which an in-home day care is being illegally run.

The day care is illegal because it is located in a non-fireproof building. While the day care operator is licensed, the DOB issued a letter last June "telling her to stop using the second-floor unit as a day-care facility." In addition to the fact that the day care does not provide children with direct street access in the event of a fire or emergency, DOB records indicate that the building "has a stop-work order on construction and 22 open violations."

Additionally a long-time resident of the building, who lives directly below the illegal day care, revealed that a large section of her ceiling caved in last year; which is indicative of serious safety and structural problems.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our children are paramount and day care providers who operate illegally or in facilities with unsafe conditions should be held accountable for their negligent actions.

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