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Child Care Goes Digital

Some one was bound to do it and it looks like Robert and Anne Kennedy, owners of three day care centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are the first to come up with an app for child care centers. They recently launched Child Care Daily App, a web-based application that lets caregivers send reports and updates to parents’ mobile devices, tablet computers or via web browser. The Kennedys hope to capture a slice of the booming app market.

The ever increasing popularity of apps led Kennedy to launch his business venture in early 2010 in hopes of digitizing the nearly 120,000 licensed child care centers in the United States. Another estimated 200,000 state regulated home-based child care businesses are also potential users of his Child Care Daily App.

Analysts from International Data Corporation predict that the app market will grow at a 50% compound rate annually, surpassing $35 billion in revenue by 2014.

Higher Child Care Costs and Decreasing Subsidies Lead To More Economic Woe

Even as federal subsidies are drying up and the cost of child care is climbing,many states have been cutting funding aimed at supporting working mothers and families,

The most resent data from Child Care Aware of America (CCAA) shows that the average cost of child care increased by more than 2 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year. The cost of care for infants in a center rose 2.3 percent, while the cost of infant care in a home setting rose 2.6 percent.

The cost of child care varies greatly throughout the country. The average cost for full-time care for a 4-year-old in Mississippi is about $3,900 a year, compared with $12,200 in Massachusetts, according to the CCAA's data.

“If you need child care today and can’t afford it it’s challenging to get it,” said Helen Blank, director of leadership and public policy at the National Women’s Law Center. “Unfortunately, this doesn’t get the spotlight it should given its critical importance to helping women work and helping kids.”

RI Closes Child Care Run By State Senator's Wife

Rhode Island child welfare officials have shut down an unlicensed home day care facility run by the wife of a state senator and referred the alleged violations to the attorney general's office.

The unlicensed day care is run by S. Jean Cerroni, the wife of Democratic state Sen. John Tassoni Jr.

Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Licensing Administrator Kevin Savage says Cerroni was operating the facility in a building behind her home for the past five years.

"We sent two licensing investigators out to the home. When they arrived at the home, there were 12 children being cared for, infants and toddlers. The home was being illegally operated without a license," said Savage of the DCYF licensing department.

Rhode Island state law says anyone caring for more than four children needs a day care license from the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.

"Gross Incompetence" Cited in Child Care Closure

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning has closed an Altoona child care after investigating the case of a child who wandered away, unnoticed, from the facility.

On May 30, a 2-year-old child who attended Coal Country Day Care was found about 6 feet from a nearby stream. Apassing motorist discovered and returned the child to the facility.

During the resulting investigation, state officials uncovered additional staffing violations and ordered the facility to be shut down.

A staff member with outdated child abuse and criminal history clearances responsible for three younger children and four older toddlers, officials said. The Pennsylvania maximum for a mixed age group is one staff member for every five children.

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