By CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd

(CBS4) – Elle Matthews has a smile that will steal your heart and a story that will break it. She was three-months-old when she was rushed to the hospital from her daycare.

“They were performing CPR on her, and you could just tell that she was already dead, she was just laying there,” said Elle’s mom, Kelsey Matthews.

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(credit: Kelsey Matthews)

Matthews is pushing for a law that would give parents more information about the facilities they entrust with their kids.

It wasn’t until after her daughter’s death that Matthews learned her childcare provider had been issued three cease and desist orders by the state for caring for as many as 18 children at a time. The provider is now charged in the three-month-old’s death.

“We did everything that we could to, you know, research the provider,” Matthews explained.

She says licensed facilities didn’t have room for her newborn and three-year-old daughter, so she did homework on unlicensed facilities – talking to parents, interviewing providers, looking for any citations. It wasn’t until after her baby died that she learned the state only posts citations online against licensed providers.

(credit: Kelsey Matthews)

“It wasn’t just this woman who killed our child, but it was the system,” said Matthews.

She’s now fighting to make the system more transparent.

“If they issue a cease and desist order, they should have to contact the parents.”

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State Sen. Jessie Danielson agrees.

“This kind of information about childcare providers should be easily accessible to public and it’s not,” Danielson said.

Danielson plans to change that with a bill that would require the Department of Human Services to post complaints and cease and desist orders against all childcare facilities – licensed and unlicensed – online. Facilities that don’t comply with orders could be shut down and providers could be charged.

(credit: CBS)

Danielson is naming her bill the “Elle Matthews Act for Increased Safety in Child Care.”

“We have an opportunity with this bill to prevent this kind of loss from happening again,” said Danielson.

Matthews said her daughter’s short life will have a lasting legacy.

“That’s the biggest form of justice, in my mind, that we’ll get,” she said.

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The bill will get its first hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

Shaun Boyd