DENVER — A baby burns on a stovetop at what neighbors call a home child daycare in Denver.
But the state has no record of the home as a licensed facility.
Now, we’re learning the homeowner was ticketed back in August for operating an unlicensed daycare.
There are more than 3,000 child daycare homes and more than 2,400 daycare centers in Colorado.
The state knows the home at 5099 Elkhart Street wasn’t one of them.
They’re investigating whether the resident violated an order issued in August to stop running a daycare.
It was supposed to be a safe place for an 11-month old girl.
“I don’t know if it’s a real daycare or not, because there’s no sign saying this is a daycare,” says neighbor Duwayne Johnson.
He says he always saw kids getting dropped off at the home.
But yesterday it was paramedics and police who came over.
“I know now what happened, I know why she was screaming,” says Johnson, who says his street was inundated with emergency workers.
Denver Police say a baby girl suffered burns to her backside.
“A child was placed in a car seat on the stove. The caretaker turned away to tend to another child, the child ignited, caught on fire,” says Sgt. Betty Hale.
She was taken to Children’s Hospital. Her condition is unknown.
But Colorado’s Department of Human Services says the home’s resident admitted in August to running an unlicensed daycare. Now they’re investigating if she did it again.
“One greatest risks of an unlicensed daycare is not knowing the background of the individual or their training experience serving children,” says David Collins, Director of the Division of Early Care and Learning.
He says licensed daycares have to undergo criminal background checks, are inspected regularly for safety and providers must have 15 hours of ongoing training, including First Aid.
He says another risk at unlicensed homes is the operator could be watching too many children to be safe—especially infants. A licensed home can only watch two.
“It’s a very difficult situation for a family, when you want to put your child in a safe situation, to have a child become injured and sustain an injury of this nature, can be very difficult,” says Collins.
If police find the homeowner violated a cease and desist order, a judge could issue an injunction, which could carry with it civil and criminal penalties—up to$10,000.
Legally, people can watch one other family’s children (besides their own), without getting a license. But if they watch kids of more than one family, they need a license.