Cheektowaga daycare has infant spots available, no violations for years

Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 23, 2019

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — In Cheektowaga, there's a daycare provider who hasn't had a single violation in years. She's been operating since 2004 and is able to care for up to 12 children.

"This is what I wanted to do all my life -- take care of children," Sarah Norris said.

Norris runs her namesake daycare out of her own home. She has six children enrolled right now.

"With the license, you're allowed to have that [number of children] and you don't have to worry about someone saying 'you're an illegal daycare,'" Norris said.

Norris says she follows each rule, put in place by the New York State Office of Child and Family Services. In fact, she hasn't been cited for a single violation since at least 2014.

"When a new regulation comes out, we want to make sure we get it in place right away," Norris said. "In the beginning, when we made our house into a daycare, there was a lot that went into it. But once you're there, all you have to do is maintain it. The regulations are there to protect you, as well as the children, so if you keep up with it and do it the way you're meant to, it's not a big problem."

Regulations mandate she has "blue cards"-- with emergency information-- on hand and available at all times.

Norris can have four children under age two-- because she's got an assistant-- who just happens to be her husband. He works third shift at another job, just to be at the daycare.

"I think that's why a lot of people choose home daycare, as opposed to the centers, because the smaller ratios which is really a big important thing to a lot of people," Norris said. "They want to know their lives are really being enriched and they're not just being babysat."

For her husband, Norris said, "it's a little tiring for him, but we've managed this way for years and we're gonna ride it right into retirement."

The State Office of Child and Family Services says "Ms. Norris’ group family day care has a strong history of compliance with New York State Office of Children and Family Services’ health and safety regulations. In the 15 years she has been licensed, the program has received only three violations."

To see Norris' OCFS inspection history, click here.