LEHIGH ACRES, FL-- The home child care community is in shock after a 2 year old drowned in a backyard kiddie pool.

Other providers say this tragedy gives them a bad reputation.

Stacie Jutgren has owned a home daycare for 16 years and after Christian Byrd died at the Smith Family Daycare Monday afternoon, Jutgtren says her business is being tarnished.

"The first thing the parents do is say 'I'm not putting my child in a home daycare,'" said Jutgren.

The Smith Family daycare was only registered with DCF and Jutgren took the option of getting her business  licensed.

The difference is more regulations.

"We are inspected by DCF periodically through the year, unexpected," she said.

She says inspections or not, providers need to protect their children.

"Follow the rules and watch the children like you are supposed to," said Jutgren.

Sharon Pender also owns a licensed home daycare with a swimming pool in her back yard and says no matter the status of the daycare it has to be protected.

"The latter is always removed and there is locks on it," said Pender.

DCF says any pool deeper than one foot must have either a fence or barrier around it. Or even an audible pool alarm, but since the smith family day care was only registered DCF says they didn't do regular inspections.

"You have to provide a safe environment for all of them," said Jutgren.

One parent whose 3 year boy used to go to the Smith Family Daycare says she trusted the owner with her child.

"She was great with children I have never had any problems with her," said mother Jennifer Baroth.

 

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