Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "childcare" ...

  • Austin American-Statesman: Unwatched

    Stories about children hurt or killed while in childcare pop up often enough that the Austin American-Statesman’s investigative team started to wonder: How safe are Texas child cares? The Statesman's investigative team dug into thousands of pages of state records, made more than 100 public information requests, and spoke with dozens of families, experts and state officials. We analyzed 40,000 day care violations and built a database showing that child care providers are often not paying attention when children get hurt and that hundreds of operations have been cited for failing to tell both parents and the state when children are hurt. We sought to give readers a comprehensive look at safety issues in the Texas day care system — a system that serves more than 1 million children every day.
  • The God Loophole

    At least 16 states exempt religious daycares from standard licensing rules. In six states, the exemptions are so broad that even the most basic rules are lifted – such as bans on beating kids, how many workers must be hired to watch children and whether they need to be trained in CPR. The results can be tragic.
  • Mississippi Child Care Crisis

    Mississippi has some of the lowest standards for child care centers in the country and some of the weakest oversight. The Hechinger Report joined with the Clarion-Ledger to investigate how the state fails to serve all its children well, why it falls short and possible solutions. Our 18-month investigation revealed a child care system in Mississippi plagued by a lack of funding and support. We looked into low standards and pay for child care center employees, difficulties parents face in finding and paying for childcare, and years of legislative inaction in improving conditions for children. We highlighted solutions for the state, such as the Department of Defense’s strong child care system, and investigated trends, such as frequent absences among child care center directors. In December, Mississippi officials said the state would adopt a host of new strategies meant to reform the system, many of them similar to the best practices we wrote about.
  • Daycare Deception

    This series of reports shows how lax government oversight has allowed state subsidized child-care centers to fraudulently collect millions of tax dollars. We found new centers popping up like dandelions to bilk the system. In one case, a former county welfare worker used her connections to open a daycare that collected more than 2 million in subsidies while offering very little actual child care. In another case, a provider hired her brother to provide food to the child care center at double the normal cost. That brother is now serving prison time for supporting a Somali terrorist organization.
  • The Hansen Files: Daycare Criminals

    Childcare advocates claim that inadequate state laws have made it easy for people with criminal convictions to get licensed to care for children—often with deadly consequences. Their evidence was often anecdotal--ripped from headlines of children dying in the care of someone whose past wasn't revealed until after the child had been harmed. When we looked into the problem we soon discovered that even when a criminal history disqualifies a potential candidate from childcare, states often grant licenses nonetheless. Parents not only aren’t informed of this, but some states actively conceal this information. And we found there are no existing databases that report caregivers’ criminal records or the results of background checks, so we set out to compile our own. The creation of that database then led us to an extensive, year-long data search in five states, from original arrest reports and police narratives to jail records, court records, state licensing files, exemption reports, inspection records and more. These records helped us unravel the many ways people with criminal records were able to get licensed. We then visited several centers and conducted an experiment in one state, submitting applications for childcare background checks for three women--all of them convicted murderers.
  • Missing Oversight

    These six stories cover financial problems surrounding one of of Glendale's most notable nonprofit organizations, New Horizons. The series started as an article on the long-delayed construction of a planned $4-million childcare center, but quickly grew into a much larger investigation of financial misrepresentations made by the nonprofit's founder and lax city oversight of federal funding. In addition to finding significant budget problems at the nonprofit, the stories revealed that city officials had repeatedly doled out limited federal funds at a time the nonprofit's own records showed they had little funding for the project.
  • Dirty Little Secrets

    The Toronto Star filed "freedom of information request to municipal and provincial government offices requesting data on inspections, serious occurrences, infection control, food safety, licensing...and enforcement actions by the ministry...and every public complaint against a daycare" over the past three years. "Together, the records painted a portrait of licensed childcare never before seen."
  • Children's Crusade: Who is watching Yale faculty's children?

    This article explores Yale University's decision to hire a consulting firm to assess the university's childcare program. Krieger found that the CEO of the consulting agency also has an administrative role at the university. The author explores the various sides of this conflict of interest, and also traces the history of Yale's childcare program.
  • Our Dead Children: Why Nebraska Fails as a Parent

    This investigation detailed the failings of Nebraska's child protection system. The reporters focus on one specific case, JayCiona Fleming, to illustrate the lack of time, resources and care that plague the system. Officials are overworked and case workers often are not as strict as they could be; as a result, many children remain in homes with unqualified or addicted parents.
  • Money To Burn: The Ohio Teachers' Pension Fund

    Tipped off by a school superintendent and a former teacher, the Copley delves into the glaring incongruencies that highlight the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. The investigation reveals that though the system was losing $12.3 billion from its investment portfolio over a three-year period, its board and administrators spent $15 million on staff bonuses, artwork, parties, furniture storage, childcare, executive perks and travel. From the questionnaire, "they also boosted the system's annual budget by nearly $ 5 billion. Meanwhile, the health care costs of retirees skyrocketed and pension benefits declined".