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 "day care" ...

  • Bucks County Courier Times: Hiding in Plain Sight

    After a toddler was found dead in an illegal day care center, Jo Ciavaglia and James McGinnis launched a three-month investigation of unlicensed, unmonitored and potentially dangerous child care centers operating in the Philadelphia Pa. area.
  • 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.
  • Exposing the Unknown Dangers to Children: CA's Broken Day Care Oversight System

    In an ongoing year-long joint investigation, NBC Bay Area and The Center for Investigative Reporting peeled back the layers of California’s ineffective and antiquated day care oversight system, revealing parents’ little access to simple inspection information, infrequent checkups by state regulators and disorganization at the highest levels of state government. In a groundbreaking team effort, the journalists spent hundreds of hours scanning and organizing thousands of child care inspection documents, creating databases to analyze that information and then posting them online for the first time in California. The reporting brought transparency to an opaque and confusing system and put the problems into the public’s eye, leading to significant action by elected officials and a change in state law.
  • Children at Risk: Unregulated Day Care in Virginia

    The series revealed the deaths of 43 children at unregulated day-care homes in Virginia since 2004. About half the deaths were sleep-related and 10 involved physical abuse. In that same time frame, 17 children died in licensed day cares. Child care experts estimate that unregulated providers care for about one-third of all children in day care in Virginia. Unregulated providers are subject to no background checks, no training and no inspections. Because regulators don’t even know where the homes are located, the finding of the 43 deaths was news to government officials.
  • Exhausted at School

    Gaze out the windows of John Marshall Junior High in Seattle and you will see cars and trucks whizzing by on the busiest freeway in the state, Interstate 5. John Marshall is one of 28 public schools and more than 125 day cares that InvestigateWest has found built within 500 feet of Washington’s highest-traffic roadways. That’s close enough to put children’s health at risk, say health researchers. For “Exhausted at School,” InvestigateWest combined data from multiple state agencies and pored over dozens of academic studies to understand the threat of toxic pollution and its effect on kids’ health at school. Our reporting immediately spurred Seattle Schools officials to action: they added a new policy to issue air quality alerts to principals, and announced plans to upgrade a decades-old ventilation system at John Marshall. Officials in Olympia and Washington, D.C., considered and then rejected the notion of banning or severely restricting construction of schools inside the pollution plume, according to interviews and records obtained by InvestigateWest. Meanwhile, state officials do not enforce rules requiring day cares to be built on environmentally safe sites. So schools and day cares continue to be built in the danger zone around freeways, and children pay the price – years after the dangers were conclusively proven. “Exhausted at School” is a collaboration between InvestigateWest and KING 5 Television.
  • State's Child Care Oversight: Minimal Monitoring, Lax Enforcement

    Statistics show that nearly two-thirds of Connecticut children live in households where all parents (or providers) work. And reliance on child day care services for those families tops 80 percent. Yet, how good is Connecticut in ensuring the state’s 1,505 licensed day care centers are safe and meeting state standards? Lisa Chedekel spent three months reviewing state inspection reports for many of the state’s licensed day care centers to answer that question.
  • Spotlight on Shaken-Baby Syndrome

    The Medill Justice Project, through the hard-hitting reporting of student journalists, has taken on a largely overlooked and misunderstood area of the criminal justice system: shaken-baby syndrome. Scores of mothers, fathers, day care workers and other caregivers throughout the United States are being accused of violently shaking children, despite an emotionally charged debate in medical circles about the accuracy of the diagnosis. Our relentless examination of this issue—through published investigative articles, breaking stories, fight for public records, motions in federal court, multimedia features and other stories—has provided a deeper, nuanced understanding of this complex subject. Our groundbreaking investigations into shaken-baby syndrome have uncovered revelatory information, influenced criminal justice proceedings, impacted public policy and challenged government agencies to abide by the First Amendment.
  • The Medill Justice Project: FOIA Fight

    Against considerable resistance from police, prosecutors and the medical establishment, The Medill Justice Project, through the hard-hitting reporting of undergraduate student journalists, in 2012 took on a largely overlooked and misunderstood area of the criminal-justice system: shaken-baby syndrome. Scores of mothers, fathers, day care workers and other caregivers throughout the United States are being accused of violently shaking children, inflicting fatal head injuries. Our relentless examination of this issue—through our published investigative articles, breaking stories, fight for public records, FOIA requests and appeals and motions in federal court—has provided a deeper, nuanced understanding of this complex, controversial subject. Shaken-baby syndrome has received scant in-depth examination in the media even as emerging science divides many in the medical community.
  • Children At Risk

    After years of reform to Illinois' child welfare system, the violent deaths of two young boys whose families had been previously investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services led the Tribune to question whether the state had done enough to protect them. Reporters Christy Gutowski and Bill Ruthhart found the state was violating critical terms of a federal consent decree that set limits on caseloads for child abuse investigators and deadlines for case closures. Through limited public records, sources and confidential reports, the reporters detailed more than a dozen child abuse deaths that occurred after state welfare officials had been notified. They also investigated the state’s woeful child abuse hotline, probed the state’s failure to properly inspect child day care facilities and analyzed how the agency’s layoffs fell disproportionately on its most critical positions – investigators. Gutowski and Ruthhart also illustrated how proposed state budget cuts could force more children into foster care and revisited the legacy of two troubling child deaths in the 1990s that led to the federal consent decree. It was in their memories that this project was born.
  • Startribune:The Day Care Threat

    Children had been dying in Minnesota child care at an alarming rate and state regulators and industry leaders had overlooked the problem until our reporting laid bare a series of safety failures that led to the spike in deaths. The reporters made dozens of public record requests and analyzed hundreds of cases to uncover wide problems in the state’s in-home daycare system. They almost all the deaths occurred at in-home daycares, which have more lax regulations than centers. The series also uncovered dozens of cases of sexual abuse, gun violence and negligence that harmed children in the state’s in-home daycare system. It revealed how Minnesota has some of the weakest training and supervision rules in the country for these in-home daycares. The reporters also discovered that critical safety records that would help parents identify problem providers were not accessible to the public. The response to the series was swift and sustained. State regulators implemented changes to improve infant safe sleep practices and they are planning legislation this session to shore up some of the safety problems. The series also highlighted how the lack of information about child care deaths is a national problem.