COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio lawmakers heard testimony this week on a bill that would make it mandatory for child care services to inform all their clients when a child under their supervision is involved in an incident, not just the parents of that child.
The bill comes to the legislature after several years of pushing for such a law by Barbara Ward, the mother of a child who was left unsupervised near a busy street in Westerville.
Chase Ward was two years old when the caregivers that were supposed to be watching him and six other children returned to the facility.
According to Barbara, the two adults did not do a head count of the seven children entrusted to them once they went back inside and Chase was left outside, alone, for five minutes.
A man driving by saw the little boy was without an adult so he pulled over and scooped him up.
It wasn’t until he brought Chase to the child care facility that they realized the little boy was missing.
Three days later, the boy’s parents were told about what had happened; and then, the workers only told the boy’s parents and not the other clientele.
Barbara Ward and her husband pulled Chase out of the program based on the negligence, but were upset that the other families were not afforded the same opportunity to make that decision for themselves because they weren’t told what happened.
Eventually, Barbara connected with the lawmakers representing her at the Statehouse and she was able to find one who could help her bring this legislation forward.
This week, Barbara shared her story of what happened to her son, and why she feels it is important that all families know when a child care service has a problem like they had.
Barbara Ward is hopeful that the bill will gain traction at the Statehouse because she says it appears to have bi-partisan support.
Still, she is nervous about the bill making it all the way through the process.
It is already December, and the session is nearly half complete with many more hearings still to go for the bill.
But she says if it does pass, at least something positive will have came out of a very negative situation.