House committee approves day care regulation bill

House committee approves day care regulation bill
Currently, daycares can use a faith based exemption from being licensed or inspected. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A House of Representatives committee has approved a compromise proposal to give the state limited oversight over faith-based day cares.

The House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday.

An advocacy group, VOICES for Alabama's Children, says Alabama is one of seven states that broadly exempt faith-based day cares from regulation. Nearly half of the 1,914 day cares in the state claim the religious exemption.

Under the compromise bill, the centers would remain exempt from getting a license, but the state would be able to inspect the centers once yearly. They would also have to submit names of workers and their criminal histories.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, the bill's sponsor, said many exempt centers aren't part of actual churches, but claim a religious affiliation to escape regulation.

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