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A Social Marketplace for Child Care?

Describing itself as "a social marketplace for early education and care", Mom Trusted has recently raised $1 million in funding for its business of helping parents find child care centers and preschools.

Aside from aiding parents in finding good child care, the company also facilitates their communication with one another. The company is also working towards providing child care centers with tools to manage their marketing and communications.

Since its January 2011 launch in Cincinnati, the company co-founded by former Proctor & Gamble executive Chaz Giles, has expanded into California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Giles' impetus for starting Mom Trusted came about during his time at Proctor & Gamble. When he couldn’t find anywhere he felt comfortable leaving his daughter during the day, he began working from home. Realizing that his problems finding child care were not unique, he decided a company like Mom Trusted made sense.

77% of Palm Beach Child Care Facilities Receive Safety Alarm Reimbursements

The Children’s Services Council reports that 104 of the 180 child-care facilities providing transportation for children in Palm Beach County have now complied with the county ordinance requiring safety alarms in their vehicles.

The numbers were announced after the June 30th application period for receiving a $150 reimbursement. from the council ended. The reimbursement was made available to all licensed child care providers who installed the safety alrms and made application for reimbursement by the cut-off date.

Palm Beach became the first county in Florida to require child care facilities to install alarms in vehicles designed to carry six or more children. The law took effect Jan. 1, and child care facilities have until September 1st to comply.

The ordinance was passed in response to the death of toddler Haile Brockington two years ago in Delray Beach. The child was forgotten and left in the back of the child care van for six hours on a hot day.

Amendment 8: The Pros and Cons

Florida voters will be asked to vote for or against Amendment 8 in the coming November election. If passed, the Amendment would allow the number of students per class to be increased.

Here is how the Amendment will be described on the ballot:

The Florida Constitution currently limits the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in public school classrooms in the following grade groupings: for prekindergarten through grade 3, 18 students; for grades 4 through 8, 22 students; and for grades 9 through 12, 25 students. Under this amendment, the current limits on the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in public school classrooms would become limits on the average number of students assigned per class to each teacher, by specified grade grouping, in each public school. This amendment also adopts new limits on the maximum number of students assigned to each teacher in an individual classroom as follows: for prekindergarten through grade 3, 21 students; for grades 4 through 8, 27 students; and for grades 9 through 12, 30 students. This amendment specifies that class size limits do not apply to virtual classes, requires the Legislature to provide sufficient funds to maintain the average number of students required by this amendment, and schedules these revisions to take effect upon approval by the electors of this state and to operate retroactively to the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.

Below are the major pros and cons being debated about the proposed amendment:

Pro: Under current caps, schools must bring in another teacher, split up a class or send a student elsewhere if he wants to enroll in any core class that already hits the cap. The amendment would raise the cap and allow flexibility in student assignment. In addition, requiring hard caps in core classes may require increasing the size of elective classes.

Con: Florida voters embraced smaller class sizes when they adopted the class-size amendment to the Florida Constitution in 2002. The measure has succeeded and lawmakers shouldn't ignore the will of the people. The final phase, hard caps in each core class, spreads lower student-teacher ratios to students in all these classes. Otherwise, some classes would be allowed to have much larger enrollments than others and gains in lower student-teacher ratios would be lost.

Indiana Considers Financial Incentives to Boost Child Care Quality

Indiana legislators are considering using financial incentives to motivate child care facilities to meet minimum standards and to encourage parents to send their children to accredited facilities.

This comes in response to effort to strengthen the state's lax regulation of faith based child care. Despite numerous mishaps and children's deaths in these type of facilities, including the drowning of an infant in a church baptismal font last year, the legislators have been at loggerheads over the issue.

There has been an ongoing debate on whether child care facilities associated with ministries should have to meet the same standards as licensed providers. Past attempts to raise standards for ministry-affiliated facilities have failed, primarily because of concerns over the separation of church and state. Currently Indiana law makes no distinction between a formal church running a child care program and anyone claiming to be a ministry from doing the same. This exemption from licensing and most state oversight presents a loophole too often used by the unscrupulous and unfit.

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