Forty-five people responded to the Question of the Week posed last Wednesday on the Herald’s Web site,

The question was: “Do you support a requirement for adequate fire insurance coverage for downtown businesses? Yes or No?”

Of the 45 voters, 41 — 90.70 percent — said “Yes,” and 4 — 9.30 percent said “No.”

The Question of the Week poll is not scientific and only reflects the opinions of those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The Question of the Week is just another way the Herald’s readers can voice their opinions about issues that affect them.

This week’s Question of the Week deals with unregulated daycare centers.

The case of Ross Allen Baxter, a 15-year-old who allegedly sexually assaulted three young girls at a daycare center in his grandparents’ home where he lives, has exposed a weakness in state law governing daycare centers.

According to Iowa Department of Human Services officials, parents were not notified of the situation at the daycare because it is unregulated. The DHS is required to notify parents if such as situation exists under three conditions:

• if the provider is a licensed daycare (that is, a free-standing facility, not in someone’s home)

• if the provider is a registered, in-home daycare caring for more than six children, or

• if the provider, registered or not, has a contract with the state to provide child care under the state childcare assistance program, which provides childcare assistance to low-income parents while they are working or are receiving training.

If the situation occurs outside of one of those situations, DHS spokesman Roger Munns said, confidentiality laws prohibit them from disclosing the information.

There are more than 7,000 unregulated daycare centers in Iowa, according to Munns.

Should all daycare centers in the state be regulated to ensure DHS oversight and parental notification in case of sexual abuse?

What do you think?

This week’s Question of the Week: “Do you support regulation of daycare centers?” Yes or No.

People can vote on The Herald’s Web site,, from Monday through noon on Friday. Then, votes are tallied and published the following Monday.

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