Madison Heights, VA- Stephanie Birks gets emotional talking about her six year old son, Jayden Brown. In May, the up and coming first grader was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, or Type 1. That alone has been a blow for Jayden's parents but now this working mother is struggling to find daycare for her son. She works at the Loew's in Madison Heights and since he was nine weeks old, Jayden had been cared for at Amelon Early Learning Center. However, Jayden can't stay there anymore, says Birks, since the state now requires that regulated daycare facilities meet certification for diabetic children under their care, the working mom hasn't been able to find one daycare facility that has staff that meets the required training." It's really upsetting," Birks told ABC 13. "Many children are being thrown away from daycares not being able to get the care they need. A lack of training."
According to Colleen French, the Licensing Administrator for the Virginia Department of Social Services, the state offered free training and certification to daycare facilities and their staff members before the October, 2013 deadline. ABC 13 did not get a count of how many facilities in the Madison Heights or Lynchburg area took part in that free training, if at all. Birks says she has yet to find one that will take her child and she says, "I've tried countless."
Meanwhile, Jayden sits at home with a family relative, wishing he could play all day with other kids his age. When asked how the situation made him feel, he replied, "sad."