Committee: Children and Senior AdvocacySponsor: Warren
Analyst: Mary LawrenceDate: 01/30/2018


House Bill 76 as substituted and reported by the Committee on Children and Senior Advocacy would enact the Child Care Safety Act. This bill will increase the administrative obligations of the Department of Human Resources (DHR) by a department-estimated $500,000 annually due to removing the licensure exemption of approximately 945 child day care centers in Alabama that are run by churches or non-profit religious organizations. The increase in obligations to the Department of Human Resources to hire additional child day care workers and a supervisor to inspect the additional child day care centers will be 100% funded by federal child care discretionary dollars due to a federal mandate for states to increase the percentage of federal child day care block grant funding that is expended on child care quality initiatives, which include child day care licensing. Enactment of this bill will not affect state or local funding.

In addition, this bill could increase the obligations of local fire and health departments and district attorneys if DHR reports health or safety risks found during their inspection of religious child care centers. District attorneys are required to investigate, at his or her discretion, any allegations against the church or nonprofit religious school as provided for in this bill.

This bill would also increase the administrative obligations of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) for criminal background checks of child day care center owners, their employees and volunteers. For each state criminal history check completed, this bill would increase receipts to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Automated Fingerprint Identification Fund (Fund) by $25, and for each national criminal background check completed, this act would increase receipts to the Fund by $27. The total cost of a national criminal background check is $41.50, with $14.50 distributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 K. L. Brown, Chair
Children and Senior Advocacy