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Former Pres. Barack Obama cautioned Democrats to be more moderate, and incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wins over Trump-backed Republican opponent.

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"Immature" ID Child Care Laws Targeted for a Growth Spurt

February 22, 2007

Idaho legislators will hold a hearing on a bill today that would require licensing for most child care providers. The new law would mandate, for the first time in Idaho, criminal background checks for child care workers, as well as parental notification if a registered sex offender is on the premises of a child care provider site.

Karen Mason, with the Idaho Association for the Education of the Young Child, says the Gem State requires licensing of many other professions and industries, but not child care.

"They check on restaurants, they check on theatres; all those things are regulated. So, people assume that their kids' care is regulated, but it's not."

Mason says the proposed changes are basic safety measures, and would cover most child care operations. Criminal background checks, a working telephone on site, and a requirement that guns be locked away from children are examples of the updates in the law.

Mason says child care providers and parents around the state agree with the proposed health and safety rules.

"Most people who find out there is not a criminal background check required to care for up to six children are totally surprised, and want to see that happen."

Some operators of small child care businesses say the new regulation would be prohibitively expensive.

The House Health and Welfare Committee will hold a hearing on H 163 today at 1: p.m. in room 404.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ID