A Houston area daycare center that was robbed by a suspected accomplice from inside the business has also been cited on several occasions for failure to perform background checks on staff members. The Stay and Play Child Care Center, located in north Harris County, Texas, was robbed while children were present and napping at the center. At the time of the incident the surveillance camera was not functioning, leaving no video evidence of the crime. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office believes there may be an inside accomplice, since the suspect specifically mentioned a gray cashbox. Spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Deputy Thomas Gilliland, says no suspects have been named.
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the center has been cited 18 times between 2010 and 2011 for failing to conduct criminal background checks on its employees. However, Stay and Play director Betty McGirr states that at the time of application, all staff members are required to undergo background checks and submit fingerprints. Assistant director of the center, Cherry Bradley, states the center immediately complied with the request by the state licensing department by ordering background checks on its employees. Some employees quit before their checks were performed, and others were late in undergoing the checks.
Since the robbery, the center has fixed the malfunctioning camera system and is restoring door locks and an intercom system. According to McGirr, there were about 75 children inside the center at the time of the robbery. “I did what I had to do to get him out of there as fast as we could,” she said. Parent Sache Stephens dropped off her 3-year-old son about 10 minutes before the robbery took place. “Had something happened to my child, I don't know what I would've done,” she said. Although she believes the center is a safe place for her son, Stephens says she would have preferred to have been notified immediately after the incident occurred. When parents arrived later that day to pick up their children they were notified of the robbery, and given letters the following day explaining the center is safe for their children. Community activist Quanell X spoke out against the brazen robbery, and is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the solving of the case.
Stay and Play is not the only daycare center known to have previous issues with background checks, centers and businesses in charge of the safety of children need to be particularly aware of the importance of performing thorough checks on staff members. They would be better off using the services of a company like backgroundchecks.com. With access to countless criminal databases nationwide they provide several great options, many with instant results. Their USOneSEARCH includes information from 49 states (plus Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico) with photos. Or try their National Wants and Warrants search. This search will give results within one to two days, and is a nationwide search of local, county, state, and Federal extraditable warrants, and may include misdemeanors or felonies. Most law enforcement agencies contribute to this database. When you use a reputable company like backgroundchecks.com, you can rest assured you are doing everything you can to protect the safety of children and your business.
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