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2017 SESSION

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SB 1239 Child day programs; exemptions from licensure, certification of preschool or nursery school program.

Introduced by: Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS PASSED: (all summaries)

Child day programs; exemptions from licensure. Repeals requirements that child day centers operated by religious institutions must comply with in order to be exempt from licensure, including the requirements that such child day centers (i) be inspected by the local health department and fire marshal for basic health and safety requirements; (ii) abide by specified staff-to-child ratios; (iii) are staffed by persons who are at least 16 years of age and are supervised if less than 18 years of age; (iv) require staff members in supervisory positions to be certified by a physician to be free from any disability that would prevent them from caring for children; (v) provide certain disclosures to parents and the general public; and (vi) establish and implement procedures for hand washing, intake and dismissal, daily health screenings and exclusion of sick children, ensuring children are in compliance with immunization requirements, keeping the premises free of obvious injury hazards, and ensuring that all staff members are able to recognize signs of child abuse and neglect. The bill also removes certain programs from the list of child day programs exempt from licensure and clarifies that such programs are not considered child day programs and therefore are not subject to licensure. The bill also modifies the terms of certain child day programs that remain listed as exempt from licensure, including religious-exempt programs, and requires that such programs (a) file with the Commissioner of Social Services (the Commissioner) a statement indicating the intent to operate a child day program, identifying the Code provision relied upon for exemption from licensure, and certifying that the program has disclosed to all the parents the fact that it is exempt from licensure; (b) report all incidents involving serious injury to or death of children attending the program; (c) have a person trained and certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) present; (d) comply with background check requirements; (e) maintain daily attendance records; (f) have an emergency preparedness plan in place; (g) comply with all applicable laws governing transportation of children; (h) comply with certain safe sleep practices for infants; and (i) post in a visible location notice that the program is exempt from licensure. The bill adds to the list of child day programs exempt from licensure programs offered by local school divisions, operated for no more than four hours per day, staffed by local school division employees, and attended by school-age children who are enrolled in public school within such school division. The bill directs the Commissioner to establish a process to inspect child day programs exempt from licensure and a process to gather and track aggregate data regarding child injuries and deaths that occur at such child day programs. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2018, except for the provisions related to religious-exempt child day programs and certain directives to the Commissioner, which shall become effective July 1, 2017.


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