Child Care Safety Act passes Senate, heads to Kay Ivey’s desk

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The Alabama Senate on Thursday morning gave final approval to the ‘Child Care Safety Act,’ which endeavors to give oversight to child care centers statewide for the protection and benefit of the children.

Sponsored by Tuskegee-Democrat state Rep. Pebblin WarrenHB76 passed by a vote of 22-4.

“Today is a great day for the children of Alabama,” said Warren. “This legislation will go a long way to ensuring a safer environment for children across the state who attend these facilities.I greatly appreciate all the support from my colleagues and look forward to the Governor signing this important legislation.”

Under the legislation, the Alabama Department of Human Resources (ADHR) would be able to inspect the nearly 1,000 faith-based centers throughout Alabama once a year. It would also require criminal background checks on the people whose care children are being placed into and proof of insurance.

Under current law, Alabama is only one of seven states that still allows daycare centers to operate without regulation if they are a part of a church or ministry. Nearly half of the 1,914 day cares statewide claim the religious exemption, allowing them avoid background checks for workers and facility inspection

The bill has already won the approval of the State House, and now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey‘s desk for final consideration.

Ivey expressed her support of the legislation in August following the tragic death of a five year old at an unlicensed daycare center in Mobile, Ala., and is expected to sign the bill into law.

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