More options in place to protect children at Orange County day cares

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Officials with Orange County announced Tuesday that more day care centers will qualify for grant money to add barriers around its facilities.

Crash barrier grants will soon be available for Orange County nonfranchised day cares, also known as the mom and pop day cares. If the day care is selected, up to $10,000 can be used to build barriers.

“If you’re a licensed day care center that should be the No. 1 priority for you, protecting the kids. And we want to help you do that,” said Lavon Williams, Manager with the Orange County Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Division.

The county determined in May that 116 local day cares were at risk because of the speed limits of the roads the buildings were on, daily traffic and proximity to the roadway.

A county ordinance requires new day cares to be built with protective barriers.

“It only takes one accident. For Lily, it was just one accident. For us to lose a child, and we think that’s one too many,” Williams said.

The effort for more protection around day cares centered around the death of 4-year-old Lily Quintus. The little girl died at a KinderCare facility in Orange County in April 2014 when a car spun out of control into the day care. Several other children were also injured in the crash.

The barriers don’t all have to be similar to concrete balls, they can be tall pillars, even large decorative pots.

In the last two years, 72 cars have crashed into buildings in Orange County, Channel 9’s Lauren Seabrook learned.

For more information on applying for the grant, click here.