Faith based exemption for daycares tightening

Faith based exemption for daycares tightening
Currently, daycares can use a faith based exemption from being licensed or inspected. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Any daycare taking state or federal funds will be required to be licensed and inspected by DHR by August of 2019.

Currently, daycares can use a faith based exemption from being licensed or inspected. These "faith based" daycares have seen kids get STAPH infections and food poisoning, and one child has even died.

Lawmakers approved new legislation this session to try and tighten the faith based loophole, despite opposition from some who say it would restrict religious liberty.

"Are we going to give government control over our churches for a few shekels from the federal government," Sam McClure said in a committee meeting a couple months ago.

Alexandra Mccants runs her own daycare, licensed and inspected from her own home. She said she does not see a major infringement on what to teach from DHR.

"No I don't, there are certain regulations I have to follow. You know safety and health regulations, but the way I run it, when I open when I close, how I interact with the children that's all up to me, that's what makes my daycare the way it is," McCants said.

McCants said most of the regulations were pretty simple, like requiring emergency contacts, an emergency plan along with basic checklists and supplies to keep kids safe.

"It's just little things like that, that make us more professional "McCants said.

This law will only apply to daycares taking federal or state money, estimates are around 500 daycares will still be able to use the faith based exemption.

Daycares will have until August of 2019 to comply with the new law.

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