HOUSTON - Ashley Smale has not been inside her 6-month-old's classroom.
"It's a struggle as a parent to leave [your] kids in the trust and faith of somewhere that you're not able to have access to," she said.
With restrictions on visitations at senior care facilities loosening, Smale wonders when she will be allowed inside her daughter's daycare facility.
She says she called the Texas Childcare Licensing Board about her concern and was told it was a state guideline.
"I couldn't find anything on CDC or state licensing [website] that's keeping parents from having access to their kiddos, just limited interaction," she noted.
She also says she was told the State was months behind on in-person inspections of daycares.
"Which as a parent makes me that much more concerned," she expressed.
FOX 26 contacted Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Kelli Wolden, a spokesperson, sent the following statement:
"Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of people in child care operations we regulate. The current emergency rules for child care providers that have been effect since June 25, 2020, do not exclude parents from entering a child care operation.
To protect the health and safety of children and staff in all child care operations, providers must screen any person visiting the operation for COVID-19 symptoms—such as a fever—and deny entry to any person meeting certain criteria, per 26 TAC 745.10003(d). While 745.10003(f) requires the operation to limit the contact between parents and caregivers, it specifically states that a parent who has a need to enter must be screened before they are allowed entrance into the operation, as provided by subsection (d).
If there are concerns about a child care operation, a person can call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or go to txabusehotline.org to report abuse, neglect or a possible violation of state standards at a child care operation.
On Aug. 24, 2020, HHSC resumed all inspections for child care operations."
Wolden explained on March 20, 2020, HHSC suspended all in-person inspections at child care facilities. On June 8, 2020, the commission resumed in-person, unannounced inspections.
"I think there's got to be a way that we're able to safely have access to our children that we're paying to have in daycare," Smale said.