Mario Archuleta was barely three years old when, on October 11, 2002, his Child Care provider purposely scalded him with hot water after a toileting accident. Mario was burned severely on both hands. Mario spent two weeks at the UNMH burn trauma unit. Doctors removed skin from his thighs to graft to his hands during a five hour operation. He spent a year in rehabilitation.
His Child Care provider pled guilty to second degree child abuse and neglect and was sentenced to nine years in the penitentiary. She may be released for good behavior after four and a half years.
Today, Mario is a bright and lively young man. However, he still bears the physical and emotional scars of his abuse.
Mario’s parents, Ron and Nicole Archuleta, want to help other parents avoid the hurt and pain that their family experienced. To this end, they are asking parents in New Mexico to take the time to carefully choose their child care providers. They have asked that the State of New Mexico establish a database of child care providers who have obtained background check eligibility, under the relevant background check regulations. You can obtain a copy of the most current background check regulations by clicking here. They also asked that parents have access to other State databases to check on their provider’s background. A list of those resources is available by clicking this link.
These databases do not guarantee that a provider who has obtained a background check will not commit an abusive act in the future. Parents should always observe prior to enrolling their child and should occasionally drop in unannounced to monitor the daily operations of the program. Your children will benefit from your involvement.
For more information on selecting child care providers, read the Parent’s Guide to Selecting Quality Child Care.