The Department of Health announced the launch of a searchable online database of the more than 1,500 licensed child care facilities in the state.

The site, which allows users to search by provider name, services, city or county, includes performance information such as licensing status, inspection reports, complaint investigations, and monetary penalties assigned during routine visits or inspections.

“Our goal is to give parents and caregivers complete information at their fingertips to make an informed decision on where to safely and appropriately place their child,” said Jim Craig, director of health protection for the Department of Health.

The online search feature is a first from the Department of Health and will allow parents to locate child care centers or youth camps with specific features such as ages served, after-school care and special needs services. In the past, information on complaints and inspections was available to the public only by making a written request for a specific facility.

“For years you’ve been able to locate a licensed facility in your area through our website, but this new database will be a huge advancement for our state,” Craig said. “This is a project that has been years in the making, and we’re extremely proud to be able to finally offer this service to parents in Mississippi.”

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Larrison Campbell is a Greenville native who reports on politics with an emphasis on public health. She received a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.Larrison is a 2018 National Press Foundation fellow in public health, a 2019 Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts fellow in health care reporting and a 2019 Center for Health Journalism National Fellow.