child day care

Share this story

Stricter requirements for daycare staff?

Sep 10, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Late last month, at the behest of Gov. Chris Sununu, the Child Care Licensing Unit at the NH Dept. of Health and Human Services postponed a presentation of new child care regulations. The Governor’s Office says it wants to further review and vet the agency’s proposal. This delay comes in response to an outcry from many NH daycare owners who say the new rules constitute an undue regulatory burden on their businesses.

The regulations, which have been in the works since 2015, require full-time staff at daycare centers to undergo 24 hours of professional development once a year, up from the 18 hours previously required. They also compel workers to monitor the children’s screen time and increase the fines centers must pay for certain violations. The Child Care Licensing Unit’s initial proposal was revised after a series of public hearings and two public comment periods in April and June of this year. In order to take effect, the DHHS must bring the regulations before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, which will vote on them.

On September 1, Gov. Sununu met with a group of child care business owners who call themselves “Keep Our Doors Open.” The group voiced their concerns about mounting regulation in the child care industry, particularly in regards to the training their staff members must receive.

Opponents of the new regulations argue that the rules could drive New Hampshire day cares out of business and make childcare more costly for families. The Granite State was the 12th most expensive state for childcare in 2016 according to the D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute— costing NH families an average of $11,810. The price of childcare places an especially heavy burden on low-income families.

Proponents of the new regulations believe they ensure a safe environment for New Hampshire children in day care. The increased professional development hours allow workers to learn about more topics, like medication administration and food allergies. The DHHS insists that their latest draft incorporates the public comments heard in April and June. In particular, they point out that, while full-time staff would need to receive more professional development, part-time staff will be allowed to have less.

What do you think? Should NH have stricter regulations on daycares?

LEAVE A COMMENT

Log in or register to post comments

Join CCNH-LFDA

Join our constantly growing community. Membership is free and supports our efforts to help NH citizens become informed and engaged. 

JOIN TODAY ▸

©2017 Live Free or Die Alliance | The Live Free or Die Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.