Open doors

There is a relatively simple way to curb the child abuse now surfacing in a number of day-care facilities across the United States. It would not cost taxpayers a cent. And it would increase the confidence of parents and grandparents that their young ones are having constructive and happy day-care experiences.

Parents and grandparents should simply make unannounced visits to their youngsters' day-care centers. This would help dismantle the wall of secrecy behind which abusive actions can take place.

All day-care centers should publicly welcome such visits to restore parental confidence. There will be a side benefit for the centers: increased parental support and cooperation, which in turn could lead to better care for the children.

Many day-care centers now quietly permit such unannounced visits. A move is beginning in Massachusetts to have all such facilities adopt a policy of encouraging unannounced parent-grandparent visits. Such a policy should be adopted nationwide.

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