Child Care Quality bills advance in the General Assembly
This week was a busy week for bills that improve the quality of child care in Indiana. Three bills advanced in the General Assembly that would provide improvements to the quality of child care available for Indiana's working families. These bills would help ensure that children are in safe, healthy environments when they are dropped off by their parents with their child care provider.
SB 305 - Child Care Regulation - would require additional basic health and safety standards for child care providers that accept government dollars for their care, including requiring that a supervisory caregiver be at least 18 years old and requiring training in the recognition of child abuse. The bill passed out of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee (9-0) and will now be considered by the full Senate. WRTV 6 covered the committee hearing.
SB 114 and HB 1494 - National criminal history checks for child care providers - These bills were passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee (9-0) and the House Family, Child and Human Affairs Committee (13-0) on Wednesday. The bills would require comprehensive National Criminal History Checks be conducted for employees of child care providers. (Currently, some providers only have to conduct a limited background check.)
These are great developments! Now that these bills will be considered by the full House and Senate, please contact your legislator and let them know that you support these bills. As a reminder, United Way of Central Indiana advocates for the following:
- All child care providers that accept government vouchers for their care should meet basic common sense standards to ensure children are in a healthy and safe early learning environment.
- Policy changes are needed so all working families have access to quality care and so information about child care health and safety regulations is transparent and available to parents.
--Laura Smoots, Public policy director