How a Lack of State Oversight Leaves Children in Day Cares Across Texas Unwatched

How a Lack of State Oversight Leaves Children in Day Cares Across Texas Unwatched

Jeronte Reed at his home in Killeen holding a onesie belonging to his son, Jaxson Partridge-Reed, who died at age 1 in an illegal day care in Killeen in 2017. Jaxson is one of nearly 90 children who have died as a result of abuse or neglect at a Texas day care over the last decade.  [Photo: Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman]

Jeronte Reed at his home in Killeen holding a onesie belonging to his son, Jaxson Partridge-Reed, who died at age 1 in an illegal day care in Killeen in 2017. Jaxson is one of nearly 90 children who have died as a result of abuse or neglect at a Texas day care over the last decade. [Photo: Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman]

Shane Martinez. Jaxson Partridge-Reed. Sebastian Bingley. Amani Ball.

Their parents sent them to Texas day care facilities, assuming they would be safe and secure until it was time to come home. Instead, like scores of other children, they died while under the watch of their caregivers.

Each day, hundreds of thousands of parents send their children to Texas day care facilities. But more often than publicly posted state numbers indicate, children are victims of molestation, physical abuse or neglect at child care sites with long histories of trouble. Some children have died or been hurt at day care facilities that had already been punished for similar violations, but which the state had allowed to keep operating.

A yearlong American-Statesman investigation for the first time reveals in stark detail the dangerous conditions that exist inside many Texas day care sites, leaving hundreds of children with serious injuries and nearly 90 dead as a result of abuse or neglect since 2007.

In Texas, children are sexually abused or killed at alarming rates inside daycare facilities with little oversight, Andrea Ball and Tony Plohetski reported. In a yearlong investigation, the team reviewed 40,000 inspection records and built a database to look for patterns.

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