Tuesday, March 29, 2005

HB 125: Unannounced Inspections of Child Day-Care Facilities and Resource Referrals

H.B. 125, P.N. 171 (G0DSHALL). This would create the Unannounced Inspection of Child Day-Care Facilities and Resource Referral Act.
The Public Welfare Department would identify and keep an updated profile of all state-approved child day care providers by geographic area and types of care. Parents would be able to obtain this information. Information on available technical assistance would be available to child day care providers.
A child day care referral agency would be required to have operating hours convenient to parents, including evening and weekends if deemed necessary, to advertise its services and fees, seek the most cost efficient means of providing referral and resource information including public and private partnerships, keep individual records confidential, and regularly report to the Department information on the numbers of people and children served and fees charged as well as information on the impact and quality of resources and referral services as well as recommendations for improving services.
The Department would annually inform the General Assembly of how goals of affordable and available child day care service resource and referrals are being met, as well as making any recommendations on systems improvements.
A family day care home would be required to have comprehensive general liability insurance. The Department would determine the minimal amount of liability insurance required.
The Department would have right to free and full access without prior notice to a day care center, including the facility, children, staff, and records. The Department would be required to conduct at least one such unannounced inspection per year of each child day care center and as deemed necessary of each family day care home, as long as at least 15% of all are inspected annually.
A complaint received by the Department alleging an immediate and serious health or safety risk to a child at a child day care facility would require an inspection within 24 hours, excluding days the facility is not operating.
A person applying for a new or renewal registration to operate a family day care home would be required to submit a criminal history record and a child abuse record. A person named in the child abuse register or who has been convicted of an applicable crime would be denied registration.
The Department would be prohibited from providing any state or Federal funds to a child care facility that employs a person named in the child abuse register or who has been convicted of an applicable crime.


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