What You Should Know About Alabama’s Proposed Child Care Safety Act | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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What You Should Know About Alabama’s Proposed Child Care Safety Act

Apr 26, 2018 | Personal Injury

Congress recently passed a bill for Alabama’s Child Care Safety Act. This bill was introduced by Rep. Pebblin Warren as a way to enhance regulations of child care centers. Currently, the state of Alabama is home to about 1,900 child care centers, but nearly half of them remain unlicensed due to current exemptions in licensing laws.

When your child is at day care, you should be able to rest easy knowing their safety is ensured. Accidents happen, though, so it’s important to know who you can turn to in situations where your son or daughter was injured or harmed while in the care of another. If your child was hurt while in while at a day care center, call the Alabama personal injury lawyers of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. for help. Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

Stronger Licensing Laws for Child Care Centers

Alabama does not require child care centers to get licensed if they are affiliated with a church ministry. This means they don’t have to adhere to the minimum licensing standards requirements set by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). Under the new bill, any centers affiliated with a church that accept children whose child care payments are federally subsidized must be licensed. Certain day cares will be allowed to remain exempt, but would need to report more information about their employees and practices to the DHR.

Unlicensed Centers Not Held to Minimum Regulations

According to the minimum requirements, licensed child care centers must adhere to a host of regulations, such as:

  • A suitability review. The DHR investigates the center, owners, staff, and other employees to determine that they are all suitable to work in child care center. This includes a variety of factors such as background checks, which ensure employees are not on the Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect.
  • A medical exam. Employees need to be examined by a doctor and show proof that they are physically healthy, have no psychological problems, and are not on any dangerous drugs.
  • Training. Staff will receive and record ongoing training.
  • Inspections. The center will display their most recent inspection reports from facilities such as the fire department, the health department, and the DHR.
  • Emergency procedures. The center must display its emergency procedures as well as a list of telephone numbers for various emergency services centers, such as police or poison control.

The list above is merely a fragment of the regulations; the DHR supplies the entire document on their website.

An unlicensed center does not need to provide any of the documentation listed above, nor must it be subjected to inspections by the DHR. Instead, these centers simply send a certification that their important records are maintained by their affiliated church. They also need to promise that they can provide copies of pertinent information to the parents. But again, there is not state agency actually observing that the child care centers provide or even collect this information.

If the governor signs the Child Care Safety Act into law, unlicensed daycare centers will be forced to adhere to more of these regulations, which could help ensure that these facilities are providing safe, professional child care.

Do You Have Questions About the Child Care Safety Act? Call Us Today

The relaxed rules for many Alabama child care centers can be frightening. Your child should not be subjected to questionable care when you can’t be there. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we think you should be able to find quality child care without having to worry about your child’s safety all day. If your child has been injured at a negligent child care facility, we think the facility should be held accountable for their actions. Let us help you by building your case while you focus on caring for your family.

Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free consultation.