House Approves Watered-Down Day Care Regulation Bill

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a watered-down child care bill aimed at getting more oversight for hundreds of faith-based day cares that go uninspected by the state.

House members voted 86-5 Thursday for the bill described as a compromise between child welfare advocates and church centers. The bill moves to the Alabama Senate.

Alabama for years has exempted faith-based day cares state licensure and regulations such as maximum child-to-worker ratios.

The bill requires for-profit centers and ones that receive state subsidies to get licensed. Exempt centers would have to provide the state with employees’ criminal histories and proof of insurance and fire and health inspections.

The state would inspect new faith-based facilities before opening and could go into existing ones if a problem was suspected.

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