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State Seeks One Year Probation For Center

A Webster Groves, Missouri child care facility cited for multiple violations after an infant died during a nap with a weighted blanket has been notified of a state effort to place it on probation by child care regulators.


Webster Child Care Center, a facility licensed by Missouri to care for up to 165 children, was notified Nov. 26 of the state’s intent to impose a yearlong probation on its license. The attempted censure follows an October state regulatory report that found seven rule violations after the death of 7-month-old Owen Haber on Aug. 21.

Those violations included failure to provide “constant care and supervision” for infants and toddlers; failure to “be alert to the various needs of the child”; and failure of the director to “monitor and manage the facility’s daily program.”

The state report also said Owen’s parents were never informed of the repeated use of a weighted blanket on their son nor consented to its use.

Center To Remain Closed Pending Outcome Of Investigation

Following an assault on a child by another child at a Homer child care facility, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Child Care Licensing, suspended the license of that facility.
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said that a South Peninsula Hospital employee reported an incident of possible child abuse involving a patient. Robl said an older child had stabbed a younger child in the skull, but that the injury was not severe and did not pierce the bone. 
The child care facility also reported the incident to police.
Citing the privacy of juveniles, Robl said he could not provide specifics such as the ages of the victim and alleged assailant.
“It’s a case where we really have to protect the victim’s identity and the young person,” Robl said.

Group Urges Thoughtful Use of Digital Tech With Young Children

In an hour long panel discussion on how parents and caregivers can make informed decisions about the use of digital media and TV for young children, the nonprofit research group Child Trends was clear in their views.
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia; Lisa Guernsey, the director of the Early Childhood Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington, and Rosemarie Truglio, the senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop were dismayed at the prospect of infants being being left alone in front of an iPad for extended periods of time in the newly available bouncy and potty seats with built-in holders for tablets.
Truglio summed up the group's opinion succintly, calling the idea, "Horrible".
That opinion somewhat aligns with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics which says, "television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2," however the group believes in a more nuanced approach.

Babies' Amazing Abilities

Scientists have become cleverer at figuring out ways to uncover babies' abilities and the better they become at it, the more amazing things they discover about infants' abilities.

1. Babies understand dominance.

Findings published in January 2011 in the journal Science, suggest that babies understand social hierarchies and know that size can determine who's in charge. As early as 10 months, babies seem to figure out that often, might makes right. When shown scenes of big and small cartoon blocks interacting, infants stare longer (indicating surprise) when the big one yields the right-of-way to the small one than they do when the small one yields to the larger.

Researchers believe this shows that babies' brains are "wired" with the "blueprints" of social interaction.

"When you're showing these kind of fairly sophisticated or rich concepts are in place before infants get language and before they really participate extensively in social interactions with the world, that is telling you: What are the basic building blocks of the mind?" study researcher Lotte Thomsen of the University of Copenhagen says."These are really the basics of how we think."

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