New Rules For Daycares Pass Ind. Senate

Posted On March 06, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – More than 1,200 child care centers across Indiana could soon be subject to new rules on child to staff ratios.

The Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1036 Tuesday on a 36-12 vote. The bi-partisan bill authored by State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) is now headed for a conference committee where lawmakers will compromise on differences between the House and Senate versions.

“No child care facility should be exempt from following safety regulations meant to protect our children,” said bill sponsor State Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis). “Unsupervised children, sub-par sanitation standards, and a lack of safety conditions are completely unacceptable for our families.”

If the current version becomes law, child care facilities that accept money from the federally-funded Child Care Development Fund would have to meet a number of new regulations starting in 2015.

Among the biggest change would be a limit on the number of children a day care can serve. New rules on the number of children per staff member would also be established.

Child care center staff would have to receive each year at least 12 hours of continuing education on age-appropriate educational development, care, and safety. The safety training would include first aid, child abuse detection, CPR, and safe sleeping practices. New daycare hires would have to receive training within three months of starting the job.

“All child care facilities should be meeting minimum state standards for health and safety, if not going the extra distance to ensure quality supervision, nutrition, and activities for children,” said Taylor.

HB 1036 would also require that providers make a report when they believe a child might be a victim of neglect or abuse.