Gov. Kay Ivey signs new Alabama day care bill - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Gov. Kay Ivey signs new Alabama day care bill

The Child Care Safety Act has been passed by state Legislature and was signed by Governor Kay Ivey. Photo: FOX10 News The Child Care Safety Act has been passed by state Legislature and was signed by Governor Kay Ivey. Photo: FOX10 News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WALA) -

On January 1, 2008, new rules for the construction, operation and maintenance of child day care centers that were adopted by the Mobile County Board of Health went into effect. This made Mobile County the first county in Alabama with such rules.

All child day care centers in Mobile County that keep more than 12 children for more than four hours a day had to comply with the rules. Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County, said at the time that the results would help all child care centers provide a safe environment for children.

According to Brad Philips, who oversees Inspection Services for MCHD, all church-exempt day cares in Mobile County had to be inspected. Up until recently, Mobile County was only one of two counties in the state that looked at these exempt day cares.

That has recently changed. House Bill 76 known, as the “Child Care Safety Act,” has been passed by the state Legislature and was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey.

The new law will license more of the currently unregulated religious day care facilities in Alabama. This follows the deaths and illnesses of several children at unregulated day care sites, including one in Mobile.

“The Mobile County Health Department supports the passing of HB76, which will require for-profit religious day care centers and centers that receive federal and/or state funding to be licensed by Alabama Department of Human Resources,” said Dr. Stephanie Woods-Crawford, who oversees the Bureau of Environmental Health & Preparedness at MCHD.

“In 2007, day care center rules for Mobile County were adopted by the Mobile County Board of Health under the authority of Sections 22-3-2(1) (4), and 22-3-5 and 22-10-1 (4) Code of Alabama, 1975; in order to promote, improve, and protect the health of Mobile County and eliminate conditions prejudicial to health or likely to become so.”

According to media reports, almost half of the nearly 2,000 day care facilities in Alabama were claiming religious exemptions. The new bill is expected to cut that number in half.

For more details on the bill, please visit https://legiscan.com/AL/drafts/HB76/2018/

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