9 On Your Side Continuing Coverage:
Health citations the norm at childcare centers?
Mini-Skool Early Learning Centers has had more than 200 health citations from the Arizona Department of Health. Is this normal at other centers?
Reporter: Alexis Fernandez
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A safe environment, it's the number one factor a parent looks for in a childcare center.
But how do you know if the business is safe, if it has a number of health citations from the state?
Gloria Stubblefield with Child & Family Resources Inc. says it comes down to your gut.
"A lot of that stuff is gut instinct you follow your gut, if something just doesn't feel right, if it doesn't walk right, doesn't smell right, then something is probably wrong," she said.
Nine On Your Side wanted to know how other pre-schools in Tucson stacked up to Mini-Skool. The school has been at the center of attention after a two-year-old walked out of the facility without anybody noticing last week.
La Petite Academy has 6 centers with a total enrollment of about a 1,000 kids, it has more than 150 citations.
Little Sprouts Child Care Learning Center has one location, 212 kids, and has more than 100 citations.
"You have to draw the line yourself and see what those citations consist of. I'm not going to say oh my gosh, they have 100 citations and they're still doing business, it really just depends on what those citations are," said Stubblefield.
We found most of the citations had to with attendance records and missing paperwork.
Stubblefield told us it can be tough to find a perfect place. An added reson, she says, to be more proactive.
"A lot of the parents don't take the time to do their homework and when I say do their homework, they're not talking with parents that are using the childcare facility," she said.