Committee Approves Day Care Regulation Bill

Church affiliated day cares in the state could soon see changes when it comes to how they’re regulated.

A compromise proposal was approved by the House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee Tuesday. Several speakers voiced their concerns at a public hearing about children at unlicensed day cares.

“It’s not about your teachings, it’s not really about you. It’s about the health and safety of these children because there are some great day cares-church affiliated day cares that are exempt that really supersedes what is asked by DHR,” says Rep. Pebblin Warren.

If the bill becomes law, it would give the state limited oversight of faith based day cares. The centers would have to provide proof of insurance along with the names of daycare workers, their criminal history and a few more critical information.

“The fire reports, the health inspection reports,”says Warren.

Right now, more than a thousand Alabama day cares are under the religious exemption.  The bill’s sponsor introduced it in the wake of a couple recent incidents at faith based day cares. One involved Montgomery facility in 2015 where children got sick after eating food that had been left out for a long period of time.

“I think we’ve got a lot more people on board this year. This bill was controversial last year but this year the sides have come together,” says Koven Brown, Chairman of the House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee.

What’s next for the proposal?

“The next move is to get it before the body. Last year I had it before the body and it passed and I think it passed 89 to 9,” says Warren.

“It’s not a bill that’s perfect for every side, but rarely any bill that is passed down here that everybody gets what they want,” says Brown.

Last year in mobile, a child died after being left inside a van at an unlicensed daycare.


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