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Tighter Home-Based Day Care Regulations Get a Hearing

January 31, 2012

PIERRE, S.D. - A bill that would tighten the rules for some home-based child-care businesses in South Dakota will be up for a hearing Wednesday in the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Its sponsor, Senator Larry Tidemann of Brookings, says there have too many reports of problems in non-certified daycare centers.

"We've had children that have been in places where there were too many children and not enough people taking care of them, not meeting some of the standards that need to be addressed, that the outcome has not been good."

Currently, a daycare with under 12 children can be run with no state oversight, and only a few cities have daycare regulations. Tidemann says the bill would decrease the number of children that can be cared for in an unlicensed home daycare facility.

"They will be licensed not at 12 - on which, basically, we lead the nation in the wrong direction - and it would move it down to seven. When you have seven children in your home that you're caring for, you would need to be licensed and registered. And it provides some training and opportunities, when you go through that."

The bill would also require home daycare providers to meet minimum safety standards, and to notify parents of any violation or citation. Tidemann says these should be a matter of common sense.

"We require more regulations on hunting lodges than we do on child care."

The bill also directs the Department of Social Services to maintain a public database of all registered and licensed child care providers, and to list any violations for a period of five years. Senate Bill 163 has five sponsors in the Senate, including Tidemann, and 10 in the House.

See the bill at

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD