State passes new child care regulations

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Changes could be coming for Indiana day care centers.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Senate passed an amended bill putting new rules on child to staff ratios. State Representative Sheila Klinker (D-District 27), said the legislation aims to prevent over crowding and make licensed day care centers safer for children.

“With some of the occurrences that have taken place, where children have been injured or died in a day care setting has made a huge impact on necessary legislation in the state,” said Klinker.

Grace Day Care teacher Ceciley Brown said having a lower teacher to child ratio increases one-on-one time with students, but it also allows her to keep a better eye on all of the children.

“You can’t be everywhere and you don’t have eyes in the back of your head. But the more teachers you have and the less children, it’s definitely more safe. I don’t see how you can think that it’s not,” said Brown.

Grace Day Care director Anne Hough said the bill could also lead to less children getting access to early childhood education.

“We’re a small facility, so I would have to hire more teachers if the ratios are lowered. It’s a possibility for us to grow as a day care, but other daycare’s may not have the space to make more classes, so we’re back to children being on a wait list and not being able to have that education,” said Hough.

The bill would also require employees to get ongoing training, Hough said she hopes the additional training would add value to the children’s education instead of just meeting a state requirement.

“All areas are very important to have training in, but there are some trainings that you go to as a teacher and you walk out, and you don’t have anything that you gained to bring back to your classroom. So, I think depending on what that training is — will it be valuable to us or not?” said Hough.

If no other changes are made to the bill, it will head to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence who could sign the bill into law.

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