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Providers Like Early Learning Reform, But Not Keen On Parental Notification Language

Florida’s private child care providers say they’re largely in support of a bill that increases health and safety regulations in their early learning and voluntary pre-kindergarten programs. But they’re worried about language involving parental notification.  

Employees would have to be at least 18 and have a high school diploma. The proposal also requires background checks and first aid training. Providers say they’re supportive of those requirements but they’re hedging over language in the bill requiring them to notify parents of serious violations. They say many of those violations get removed or lowered during an appeals process. But O’Toole says in light of recent child deaths she is not inclined to change the language.

 “I’m trying to provide health and safety to babies and families so they know on Day 1 if something is a class one violation," she says.

Examples of class one violations include leaving children unattended, or leaving them behind during trips. The bill is identical to one that’s already moving in the Senate and O’Toole says she expects the measure to be among the first that get to the chamber floors.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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