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Mom told she can't watch friends' kids

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MIDDLEVILLE, Mich., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A Michigan mother can't continue watching friends' children while they wait for the school bus unless she gets a day-care license, state officials say.

The officials cite a state law that says without a license, residents cannot take care of other people's children unless the parents of those children are in their own homes at the time, NBC's "Today Show" reported Tuesday.

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Lisa Snyder said she has been keeping an eye on the children of three friends at her home in Middleville, Mich., for less than an hour on school days "To me, this is just a friend helping a friend, plain and simple," she said.

But on Sept. 11, three days after school began, Snyder said she received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services informing her of a complaint and telling her that she could face fines or up to 90 days in jail if she continued watching the children without a day-care license.

Michigan state Rep. Brian Calley said the law is being misapplied.

"It's meant to regulate the business of providing day-care services. It's not meant to apply to friends helping friends in this way," Calley said. "What I'd like to do is clarify the law and take away the ability of the department to apply it in this way."

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Snyder said she told a woman at DHS the children should be able to come in her house during rain or a snowstorm.

"The (DHS) lady said to me, plain and simple, 'Tell the parents to buy an umbrella.' She was serious," Snyder said.

James Gale, a DHS spokesman, confirmed the facts of Snyder's case.

"In the interest of protecting children, we will investigate all allegations or complaints of unlicensed child care," he said.

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