Child care centers are scrambling to replace older cribs with new ones that comply with new federal safety standards, and they have a Dec. 28 deadline.
One crib can be expensive enough. Imagine needing to replace dozens.
That was the challenge Blessed Sacrament Academy on Mission Road has been facing since the Consumer Product Safety Commission passed the new rules two years ago.
"There was a concern since we are a non-profit," said Carol Silva, director of the Blessed Sacrament Academy Child Development Center. "We were thinking of fundraisers to raise the money."
Blessed Sacrament now has 14 new cribs, courtesy of Workforce Solutions Alamo.
To help child care providers used by parents enrolled in Workforce Solutions Alamo programs, the agency supplied 1,331 cribs to 172 providers in the 12-county region.
The funding came from Texas Workforce Commission and had been earmarked for quality improvements.
"They were going to have a difficult time financially to make this change at the end of the year, and we decided that was something we could fairly easily do," said Susan Ashworth, director of child care for Workforce Solutions Alamo.
Each crib cost approximately $330.
Flimsy and dangerous cribs have been the targets of recalls in recent years. More than 2 million were recalled in 2010, largely due to dangers posed by drop-side cribs.
In June 2011, the government banned the sale and manufacture of drop-side cribs and set new standards. Child care providers were given until Dec. 28 to comply.
The new standards address more than drop sides. Slats, mattress supports and hardware must be more durable, and testing must be much more rigorous.
State inspectors will check for crib compliance after the first of the year.