OKC Couple Fights For Child Care Law

Monday, July 4th 2016, 3:11 pm
By: News 9

Just over a year ago, Ali and Derek Dodd were dealing with the unexpected loss of their infant son.

“He was swaddled, unbuckled, put in another child’s car seat, put in another bedroom with the door shut for two hours, unsupervised completely,” Ali Dodd said.

She said he wiggled down so much he suffocated in his sleep.

Both parents say they immediately had questions.

And they didn't waste time working on an answer.

They began drafting and lobbying for Shepard's law.

"(It) makes it impossible to put a healthy infant in an unsafe sleep environment, if Shepard would’ve been on his back that day, I’d still have my child,” Ali Dodd said.

But they didn't stop there, also effective immediately, Senate Bill 1274 requires childcare centers in the state to notify parents if they are not covered with liability insurance.

During their research, the Dodds said they learned an alarming 47 percent of child care centers in the state are uninsured.

An expense they say would only cost an average of $1.16 per child a week.

They say they're happy with the changes but they aren't done.

"I think this is a great start to make sure Oklahoma infants are safe," Derek Dodd said.

In addition, Senate Bill 1211 revamps the Childcare Advisory Committee giving a voice to infant specialists and parents as they work with DHS to change and update rules governing childcare centers.

That goes into effect in 2017.