KOLR 10: Mo. Lawmaker Proposes Stricter Regulations for In-Home Daycares Proposed Law Addresses Rules for Unlicensed Providers

By Dana Thayer | [email protected]

Published 01/12 2016 05:47AM

Updated 01/12 2016 05:52AM

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Missouri state senator has introduced a bill that would place stricter regulations on unlicensed in-home child care providers across the state.

Several at- home child care providers are unlicensed, which according to local child advocate Dana Carroll does not mean the facility isn’t providing quality care. Still, Carroll agrees with proposed legislation introduced this session by Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) that would require higher standards for such providers.

“Every day, parents place their precious children in child care and trust they’re receiving quality care from capable and loving individuals in a safe environment,” Sen. Schupp said in a press release. “There are simple steps we can take to help assure parents they have the information they need to select a qualified facility for their child.”

The bill suggests the four following requirements for unlicensed providers:

  • In-home providers would have to disclose their licensure status,
  • Fines would be increased if they made false statements about being licensed.
  • Providers must count their own kids under kindergarten age in the total number of children they’re allowed to watch at any given time.
  • The State Department of Health and and Senior Services could immediate close a facility if they see imminent harm to children.

Having providers be more transparent about licensure statuses is something Carroll thinks local families would benefit from. “It just allows parents to know what they’re dealing with,” she says. “If you say you are [licensed] and you’re not, parents would assume they are stricter regulations, more eyes on your facility than there actually are.”

Carroll adds that some providers are considered “registered vendors” because they receive financial assistance from the government, but these providers still aren’t licensed. She says making this distinction more known would level the playing field for providers who continue to meet stricter requirements for state licensure.

Sen. Schupp has filed similar legislation in previous years. Last year’s version was referred to a committee but never received a hearing. This year’s bill was introduced on Jan. 5 and has not yet been scheduled to receive any actions at the State Capitol.

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