Child deaths at unlicensed day cares concern Virginia officials

WLNI-MRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia regulators are concerned about the number of children’s deaths at unlicensed day care facilities in the state. An analysis by the Richmond Times-Dispatch found that at least 51 children died at unlicensed facilities over the past 10 years, compared to nine deaths at state-licensed facilities. Department of Social Services director of family services Carl Ayers tells the newspaper that the disparity warrants additional study. He says the agency routinely looks at child fatalities in Virginia as a whole. It has never specifically studied child deaths at unlicensed day cares. The newspaper says investigators determined abuse or neglect contributed to 27 deaths in unlicensed day cares, compared to three in licensed facilities. No determination of wrongdoing could be made in the other cases.

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