Written By:  Tiffany Verzal @ Stand with Faith

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, 70.6 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are employed. That means that there are a lot of children in daycare. Due to the nature of Alexis’ injury, the subject of daycare comes up in many different forms when I have conversations with people.

I can’t begin to count the number of times that, after telling Alexis’ story, I have heard, “That’s why I don’t put my child in daycare.”  I’ve also heard, “I’ve been trying to decide if I should go back to work, now I am not going to.”  I’ve also had many people ask what my opinion is about daycare, and I am sure they asked because they wanted to hear how much I hate daycare…but I don’t.

Here’s my bottom line, I am glad that there are daycare facilities. Why? Because there are so many people that have healed Alexis and touched our lives that made the choice to send their children to daycare. Doctors and nurses, who literally gave Alexis life again – had kids in daycare. The therapists and nurses who have helped give Alexis independence that we never thought she would have – had their kids in daycare.

In fact, after a month-and-a-half of being in the hospital, the first place therapists took Alexis to start “integrating” her back into the real world was the daycare they have at Madonna.

I think that daycare facilities have the potential to foster great learning environments. In fact, there are probably times that being in a daycare may be a lot better for a child than staying at home.

But, believe it or not, the daycare vs. stay-at-home isn’t the “hot button” issue here.

When I start talking about the incident that happened to Alexis, the people who run the home daycares are the ones that get really offended. I am sure if I was in their shoes, I would have the same reaction. 

When I have an opportunity (and feel like it) to delve deep into the story of Alexis’ injury,  I always start something like this, “Alexis was hurt while she was at a home daycare. The person who ran this daycare had almost twenty years of experience, and we knew twelve different families that had taken their children there over those years. I felt like I had done the right things when it came to choosing a daycare.”

I’ve had home daycare providers come up to me after speeches and say things like, “That would never happen at my home.”  “I love children. The kids I take care of are like my own.”  I totally agree with them. I would venture to say that most of the people who take care of kids would say the same thing.

I think that is what is really scary. It’s scary for a parent, and it is scary for a daycare provider too. Regardless of what people’s intentions are, kids still get hurt.

I don’t know what happened the day that Alexis was injured. I don’t know how it happened. All I have to go off of is what doctors and child abuse experts have told me and that is what decades of medical research and evidence tells them.

During the trial I found out that there were a lot of stress factors happening in the home where Alexis was being cared for; things I wasn’t aware of.

I bring this up not to offend, or to say that this same thing is going to happen to someone else. I bring this up to stop it from happening to another child. I honestly feel like if people have Alexis’ story in the back of their mind, maybe it will prevent another child from getting hurt.

I think home daycare can be great. They are more intimate. As a parent, it feels good to leave your children with a friend or family. But I wish we could level the field a bit more on both sides.

Here’s my wish list:

Daycare providers

  1.  Be honest with the parents. If there is a kid driving you up the wall, tell the parents. Work together to set some goals and boundaries on both sides. Just because you are having problems with a child doesn’t mean you don’t know how to take care of children.
  2. Be honest with yourself. If a family crisis or something in your life is making it extremely difficult for you to take care of children, take a personal day…or two. Sure, it’s an inconvenience to the families of the children you watch, but if it makes you a better childcare provider (and keeps kids safe), I am sure it is better for everyone.
  3. Get licensed. It’s there for a reason.
  4. Be educated. As part of being licensed you are required to take a “Safe with you” class that teaches you about safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome, and child abuse and neglect. This allows you an opportunity to practice an environment that keeps kids safe, to educate parents, and to detect the signs of those issues.


  1. Be open and honest with your daycare provider. If you have an issue, talk about it over the weekend or later in the evening. Not when other parents are picking up their kids and the daycare providers’ day is coming to an end.
  2. Be respectful of the daycare providers’ sick days and personal days. If they need it, they need it. Don’t give them any grief.
  3. If the daycare provider comes to you with a problem about your child, listen to them. Don’t assume that they are exaggerating. Just listen and work to find a solution.
  4. Be respectful of the daycare providers’ day and business. Pick your children up on time and pay them when it is due.

Parents and daycare providers, we can do this. We have the power to stop something like what happened to Alexis from happening again. Share this, post it, do whatever you have to do to open up the lines of communication between families and childcare providers. I won’t reveal which step above it was, but if just that one would have been taken back in 2008, Alexis would have a completely different life than she has today.

Read the three part series of Alexis’ Story…

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Tiffany Verzal

Tiffany Verzal was raised in rural Nebraska, and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Brandon and daughter Alexis (9) and Abby (2). In 2008, Alexis (then 14-months-old) was the victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her daycare provider in Texas. Alexis suffered severe brain damage and has spent over 2000 hours in rehabilitation since her injury. Tiffany continues to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Brandon and Tiffany serve as members on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Brandon is currently the Chairman of the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board.

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading