Assembly Passes Package of Legislation to Assist Child Day Care Providers

Legislation will help improve state oversight of day care
June 23, 2006

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) announced passage of a package of bills she authored to afford child day care providers more say in the state regulations that affect them, and require state and local officials to better respond to providers’ needs such as prompt payment and privacy. The measures were drafted in response to issues identified by child care providers throughout the state, including an Assembly Roundtable of providers held in Ithaca last fall.

“Access to quality child care is critical for our community and our state,” Lifton, Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues, said.

To rectify the lack of opportunity for input into the state’s rule-making process regarding child day care, the Assembly passed legislation that would establish an advisory council of child care providers (A.11130). The advisory council would review and advise the Commissioner of the State Office of Children and Family Services on current and proposed policy related to child care.

A critical component of the day care system is to provide our children with a stable, positive setting and consistent caregivers. Lifton’s legislation would improve the recruitment and retention of day care providers and directs the State to fund the development of family day care homes (A.11133). Another measure that would also assist in recruitment and retention requires the Office of Children and Family Services to look into accessible and affordable health policies along with liability and business insurance (A.11134).

“There is a shortage of adequate choices to meet the needs of our working families,” Lifton said. “Doing all we can to improve recruitment and retention and provide incentives like affordable insurance will go a long way to closing the shortfall of quality providers.”

Another measure allows child day care providers to opt out of having personal identifying information, such as addresses, posted publicly on the websites of the Office of Children and Family Services (A.11131). This legislation further protects our children and providers from allowing sexual predators from having access to this sensitive information.

“If we want to assist our working families, we need to support and invest in child care,” Lifton said. “This package of bills will go a long way to providing dependable and affordable day care. Our families and children deserve nothing less.”