Nathan’s Law looks to cap number of kids daycare could watch

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — How many kids would you want a daycare provider to watch while they’re looking after your child?

In Missouri, legislation, dubbed “Nathan’s Law,” is moving forward to keep that number at four kids per provider.

The law was introduced after three-month-old Nathan Blecha, of St. Louis, died in 2007. He was in the care of someone who was looking after almost a dozen children at once.

Blecha would be turning six this year, but soffocated at that caregiver’s home. There were ten kids also there at the time.

“Nathan’s Law” aims to prevent more of these tragedies. It would limit the ratio of infants and toddlers to adults at licensed day cares to four-to-one.

School-aged children are not included in the proposed plan — just infants and toddlers.

The bill also specifies infants and toddlers related to the caregiver, by blood, marriage or adoption to be counted in that number.

And that’s plenty according to Jameisha McGowan at Kiz Kabana, a metro area daycare.

They’re walking and you got to make sure they’re not rough housing the other toddlers or jumping on babies,” she said.

State Representative Jill Schuup of St. Louis County sponsored the bill. She said the bill would help ensure the safety and well-being of the children.

The committee of children, families and persons with disabilities has yet to vote whether to advance the proposal to the full House for a vote.

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