MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This week you may have seen an investigative story that Hannah Lane from our 12 News Defenders team did on unlicensed day care centers. 200,000 children are attending daycare every day in the state of Alabama, according to the Alabama Partnership for Children.
Alabama is one of only 14 states that allow day care centers to operate without a license or the need to pass inspection. Today, there are between 800-900 operating day care centers in our state that are not licensed.
Understand this does not mean that they are doing anything that is against state law. It simply means that they are operating without having to adhere to guidelines or pass inspections, for cleanliness and food services, do background checks, or many other things that licensed day care providers adhere to.
Some changes are coming.
By 2017 Federal Law will require that the state must monitor and inspect exempt centers that service low income families. That's about half of the exempt centers which will leave around 400 exempt centers with no license. Parents need to be aware if the daycare center they are using is DHR certified.