found more than 90 former criminals were given exemptions between Jan. 1, 2006, and July 19, 2007. Almost half were involved in some kind of violence, records showed.
Some needed exemptions to open or work in day cares. Others asked so their wives could have day cares in their homes. DHS does not require day care centers to tell parents any details about the crimes.
Many of the crimes were years ago but some were in the last five years.
Hendrick wrote that overall, day cares in Oklahoma are safe.
"When you consider that care is given to 125,000 children at more than 5,100 sites per day, it is amazing to realize that less than two allegations of abuse or neglect are made each day and less than one confirmation is made per week (40 total last year statewide) in licensed care,” he wrote.
He also wrote, "A request for a waiver would never be approved for a convicted child molester. A request ... from a person convicted of a property crime that happened many years ago would likely be approved routinely. Other cases fall in the middle and are more difficult.”
Hendrick said Friday he will consider requiring day cares to give more information to parents.
"We possibly could describe maybe the date and the crime,” he said.
Some readers have been outraged at DHS.
"There are plenty of other jobs for people to ‘get their second chance on'... not in child care!” one reader wrote online.