Proos supports child care security updates

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Child day care workers would need to pass criminal background checks and day care facilities would see increased inspections under bipartisan legislation supported by Sen. John Proos.

“Parents should never have to worry about the safety of their children at day care or whether the people they are entrusting to care for their children have a history of abuse,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Thankfully, most child care providers in Southwest Michigan and the entire state are good people who would never do anything to harm a child. This is about removing bad actors and ensuring all Michigan children in day care are protected.

“As these reforms give peace of mind to parents with children in day care, they will also protect funding for critical state oversight of child care facilities.”

In 2014, the federal government reauthorized the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act for the first time since 1996. The act included updated regulations that states must meet for child care facilities and homes that run day care services.

If Michigan does not come into compliance with the new federal regulations, the state may lose $4 million in funding as a penalty.

Senate Bills 180-183 would make various updates and changes to Michigan’s current laws regarding child care licensure to comply with new federal requirements. The bills require all child care licensees, staff, volunteers and household members to undergo criminal background checks, including fingerprinting.

There are many crimes that would prevent someone from obtaining a child care license or prohibit someone from working at a child care facility, including child abuse or neglect, sexual assault, child pornography, domestic violence, assault and other dangerous felonies.

The bills would also require the state to complete annual inspections of all licensees that will be unannounced in most cases and create minimum five-year bans for child care operators and workers if they have their operator or individual licenses revoked.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.