Gov. Mark Sanford signed what’s being called Kendra’s Law today, a measure to require two hours more training for home day care workers. The bill was prompted by a case of a caregiver shaking infant Kendra Gaddie so violently that the little girl sustained crippling brain injuries. The childcare worker was given no jail time.
Kendra’s parents Michelle and Patrick Gaddie say though they are pleased with these new rules, the original bill called for mandatory punishment for the charge of “grave bodily injury.” The Gaddies and the governor today said the original language was derailed by Senator Brad Hutto and Representative Todd Rutherford, who fought the idea of imposing any mandatory sentencing on judges.
Patrick Gaddie says the new law is still a positive action. “Baby steps,” he called it, “but it’s a step, it’s something.”
Governor Sanford says this is actually a “quantum leap” for South Carolina, but added, “It’s a bitter irony that state law requires far more training to braid hair than it does to operate some childcare businesses.”