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