Kenneth Reich's article "Severe Lack of Home Day-Care Insurance Told" (Part I, Nov. 10) shows the insurance industry's lack of willingness to look at the real problem facing home child-care providers seeking to purchase liability insurance: availability.
The lack of liability insurance for home day-care providers has forced many providers to close their doors. Closure of home day-care centers compounds the already severe child-care space shortage facing California. Our state has 1.4 million children in need of some day care, yet there are only 617,000 slots available.
Those parents that place their children with uninsured home-care providers sign waivers which remove the provider from any liability. If their child is hurt while under the provider's supervision, then the parent assumes full personal and medical responsibility. For a working parent without any health coverage, these costs could be devastating.
Ever since the McMartin Preschool sexual abuse scandal hit the papers, the insurance industry--with prodding from the California Legislature--organized a Market Assistance Plan. Twenty-one insurance providers volunteered to offer liability coverage to those who applied. The problem with MAP, however, is that the underwriting rules written by the insurance companies were so stringent that 66% of the 3,300 applicants were denied.