Councilmember Wants Annual Daycare Inspection

After the deadly home day care fire last month, a Houston city councilmember proposes an annual inspection of each facility. Rod Rice reports.

Jessica Tata was locked up in the Harris County jail early this morning after fleeing to Nigeria following the February 24th fire that killed four toddlers and injured three others.  She is facing 14-charges including four for manslaughter and a federal charge of flight to avoid prosecution.

Tata only needed a 27-dollar state license to operate her home day care business.

State officials conduct a pre-opening inspection and then do one every two-years. Houston council member Sue Lovell thinks that is inadequate and has proposed an ordinance that would require all home day cares to register with the city.

"And once they register that will mandate an annual inspection from a fire marshall. They'll be a $100.00 registration fee and a $25.00 administration fee."

Lovell says at this point there is support for the ordinance from other members of council.

"Anytime you can make children safer you should do so."

Jessica Tata
Jessica Tata mug shot
The Harris County Sheriff's office

The Harris County Sheriff's office says the 22-year-old Tata is locked-up by herself for her own safety. Tata is being held without bond.  A court appearance is set for Wednesday.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...