Day care regulation bill unanimously passes House committee

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Alabama faith-based day care facilities are one step closer to having to be annually inspected after a House committee approved a substitute version of HB76.
HB76, as introduced by Tuskegee-Democrat state Rep. Pebblin Warren, would require all day care facilities statewide to be licensed and regulated by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (ADHR). Under the new substitute bill — which the House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee unanimously voted to advance to the House floor on Tuesday — the centers would remain exempt from needing to be licensed, but ADHR would be able to inspect the centers once annually. Faith-based day cares would also have to submit proof of insurance and the names of workers and their criminal histories.

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 inspections.

The House overwhelmingly approved similar legislation last session, but the bill ultimately died in the Senate.

Warren, a member of the House Rules Committee that has the ability to set the special order calendar, said she hopes the bill will quickly be considered by the full Alabama House.

Watch a video excerpt of Tuesday’s hearing below:

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