PELL CITY – The council unanimously approved a resolution in support of legislation requiring that all child-care facilities, including pre-schools, be subject to licensing and regulation by the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
“The State Code currently contains an exemption for religiously affiliated daycare facilities, allowing them to operate without licensing or inspection,” City Manager Brian Muenger said. “… Recently all care facilities that wish to accept federal vouchers have been required to pass safety checks, and the city has found that some facilities that were operating under the aforementioned exemption to be substantially out of compliance with basic life safety and fire safety standards, lacking such basic protections such as smoke detectors and exit signage, amongst other issues.”
The city will provide copies of the recently approved resolution to the governor, each member of the St. Clair County Legislative Delegation and to each member of the Alabama House and Senate.
Muenger said there was legislation introduced last year, which would have made all operators subject to regulations by the Department of Human Resources, DHR. He said the bill was introduced and passed in the House, but died in the Senate.
“Alabama is currently one of only seven states that allow such exemptions, and there have been numerous issues in which facilities were found to be significantly deficient,” Muenger said.
He said the resolution was introduced to the council after the Alabama League of Municipalities requested support from municipalities for the legislation.
“… The City Council supports legislation requiring criminal history background checks be conducted on all workers employed at any child-care facility or pre-school facility,” the resolution passed by the council states.