Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Indiana Senate Bill 0305 Child care regulation - Legislation Part 23

SB 305 which establishes additional regulations for child care service providers is currently being heard by the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee in the senate Chambers. The committee is chaired by Senator Patricia Miller.

Senate Bill 0305 affects the following citations :IC 4-21.5-2-6; IC 12-7-2; IC 12-17.2.The synopsis is as follows:
Child care regulation. Specifies requirements that must be met by a child care provider as a condition of eligibility to receive a federal Child Care and Development Fund voucher payment. Sets forth a disciplinary process for suspension or revocation of eligibility. Requires certain child care providers to obtain national criminal history background checks of individuals who are employed by or volunteer for a provider. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the committee on child care.)

This is a well conceived bill that has numerous practical and beneficial applications. Particular sections I like relate to food standards and discipline.
A provider shall maintain compliance with food, health, safety, and sanitation standards as determined by the division under rules adopted by the division under section 15 of this chapter or in accordance with a variance or waiver approved by the division under IC 12-17.2-2-10.

(b) A provider shall: (1) maintain a written child discipline policy; (2) ensure that all employees and volunteers follow the child discipline policy; (3) provide the parent or legal guardian of each child cared for by the provider a written copy of the child discipline policy; and (4) maintain in each child's file a copy of the child discipline policy that has been signed by the parent or legal guardian described in subdivision (3). (c) A provider shall allow unscheduled visits by a parent or legal guardian to a facility where the provider operates a child care program during the hours the child care program is in operation.

Children have been targeted for harm by a swath of institutions that can profit from their misfortune. Some of these include the conglomerates that both adulterate the food supply and provide medical services. Getting children sick to create children to treat. Combating these efforts through health and nutrition standards is a step towards improving the well-being of children.

As anyone who has witnessed the divergent parenting styles following divorce knows, children do better when they know the expectations and the expectations are consistent. This is especially true with discipline. The mother of my son has worked in child care since he first employment. For years I witnessed the neglectful and abusive discipline techniques that are common among child daycare providers. I applaud Senator Taylor for including language in this bill that specifically targets those arbitrary discipline actions that are harmful to children.

One area that is only amended is the criminal background check. I never miss an opportunity to speak out against the filter for all but the elusive criminals. I am a convicted felon and therefore ineligible to work in one of these facilities. Yet at the same time I know of people who have been employed in these facilities after committing crimes against children. Criminal history checks and prohibitions against convicts ensure that only the most coy criminals are exposed to children, not those who are likely to get caught. It is for this reason and the false sense of security that I oppose those mandates.

Senator Taylor is a tireless advocate for the well-being of children. This bill should be supported and passed into law.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

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