Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Governor's Bill No. 10

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 365

 

*00365__________*

Referred to Committee on COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN

 

Introduced by:

 

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.

SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

REP. SHARKEY, 88th Dist.

REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th Dist.

 

AN ACT INCREASING ACCESS TO CHILD CARE FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE HOMELESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 17b-749 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Commissioner of Early Childhood shall establish and operate a child care subsidy program to increase the availability, affordability and quality of child care services for families with (1) a parent or caretaker who [(1)] (A) is working or attending high school, or [(2)] (B) receives cash assistance under the temporary family assistance program from the Department of Social Services and is participating in an approved education, training or other job preparation activity, or (2) homeless children and youths, as defined in 42 USC 11434a, as amended from time to time, who have been designated as in need of protective services by the Commissioner of Early Childhood, for purposes of 42 USC 9858n, as amended from time to time. Services available under the child care program shall include the provision of child care subsidies for children under the age of thirteen or children under the age of nineteen with special needs. The Office of Early Childhood shall open and maintain enrollment for the child care subsidy program and shall administer such program within the existing budgetary resources available. The office shall issue a notice on the office's Internet web site any time the office closes the program to new applications, changes eligibility requirements, changes program benefits or makes any other change to the program's status or terms, provided the office shall not be required to issue such notice when the office expands program eligibility. Any change in the office's acceptance of new applications, eligibility requirements, program benefits or any other change to the program's status or terms for which the office is required to give notice pursuant to this subsection, shall not be effective until thirty days after the office issues such notice.

Sec. 2. Section 19a-79 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Commissioner of Early Childhood shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of sections 19a-77 to 19a-80, inclusive, and 19a-82 to 19a-87, inclusive, and to assure that child care centers and group child care homes shall meet the health, educational and social needs of children utilizing such child care centers and group child care homes. Such regulations shall (1) specify that before being permitted to attend any child care center or group child care home, each child shall be protected as age-appropriate by adequate immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, hemophilus influenzae type B and any other vaccine required by the schedule of active immunization adopted pursuant to section 19a-7f, including appropriate exemptions for children for whom such immunization is medically contraindicated and for children whose parents or guardian objects to such immunization on religious grounds, and that any objection by parents or a guardian to immunization of a child on religious grounds shall be accompanied by a statement from such parents or guardian that such immunization would be contrary to the religious beliefs of such child or the parents or guardian of such child, which statement shall be acknowledged, in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-32, 1-34 and 1-35, by (A) a judge of a court of record or a family support magistrate, (B) a clerk or deputy clerk of a court having a seal, (C) a town clerk, (D) a notary public, (E) a justice of the peace, or (F) an attorney admitted to the bar of this state, (2) specify conditions under which child care center directors and teachers and group child care home providers may administer tests to monitor glucose levels in a child with diagnosed diabetes mellitus, and administer medicinal preparations, including controlled drugs specified in the regulations by the commissioner, to a child receiving child care services at such child care center or group child care home pursuant to the written order of a physician licensed to practice medicine or a dentist licensed to practice dental medicine in this or another state, or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a, or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d, and the written authorization of a parent or guardian of such child, (3) specify that an operator of a child care center or group child care home, licensed before January 1, 1986, or an operator who receives a license after January 1, 1986, for a facility licensed prior to January 1, 1986, shall provide a minimum of thirty square feet per child of total indoor usable space, free of furniture except that needed for the children's purposes, exclusive of toilet rooms, bathrooms, coatrooms, kitchens, halls, isolation room or other rooms used for purposes other than the activities of the children, (4) specify that a child care center or group child care home licensed after January 1, 1986, shall provide thirty-five square feet per child of total indoor usable space, (5) establish appropriate child care center staffing requirements for employees certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the National Safety Council, American Safety and Health Institute or Medic First Aid International, Inc., (6) specify that on and after January 1, 2003, a child care center or group child care home (A) shall not deny services to a child on the basis of a child's known or suspected allergy or because a child has a prescription for an automatic prefilled cartridge injector or similar automatic injectable equipment used to treat an allergic reaction, or for injectable equipment used to administer glucagon, (B) shall, not later than three weeks after such child's enrollment in such a center or home, have staff trained in the use of such equipment on-site during all hours when such a child is on-site, (C) shall require such child's parent or guardian to provide the injector or injectable equipment and a copy of the prescription for such medication and injector or injectable equipment upon enrollment of such child, and (D) shall require a parent or guardian enrolling such a child to replace such medication and equipment prior to its expiration date, (7) specify that on and after January 1, 2005, a child care center or group child care home (A) shall not deny services to a child on the basis of a child's diagnosis of asthma or because a child has a prescription for an inhalant medication to treat asthma, and (B) shall, not later than three weeks after such child's enrollment in such a center or home, have staff trained in the administration of such medication on-site during all hours when such a child is on-site, and (8) establish physical plant requirements for licensed child care centers and licensed group child care homes that exclusively serve school-age children. When establishing such requirements, the Office of Early Childhood shall give consideration to child care centers and group child care homes that are located in private or public school buildings. With respect to this subdivision only, the commissioner shall implement policies and procedures necessary to implement the physical plant requirements established pursuant to this subdivision while in the process of adopting such policies and procedures in regulation form. Until replaced by policies and procedures implemented pursuant to this subdivision, any physical plant requirement specified in the office's regulations that is generally applicable to child care centers and group child care homes shall continue to be applicable to such centers and homes that exclusively serve school-age children. The commissioner shall print notice of the intent to adopt regulations pursuant to this subdivision in the Connecticut Law Journal not later than twenty days after the date of implementation of such policies and procedures. Policies and procedures implemented pursuant to this subdivision shall be valid until the time final regulations are adopted.

(b) The commissioner may adopt regulations, pursuant to chapter 54, to establish civil penalties of not more than one hundred dollars per day for each day of violation and other disciplinary remedies that may be imposed, following a contested-case hearing, upon the holder of a license issued under section 19a-80 to operate a child care center or group child care home or upon the holder of a license issued under section 19a-87b to operate a family child care home.

(c) The commissioner shall exempt Montessori schools accredited by the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori Internationale from any provision in regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section which sets requirements on group size or child to staff ratios or the provision of cots.

(d) Upon the declaration by the Governor of a civil preparedness emergency pursuant to section 28-9 or a public health emergency pursuant to section 19a-131a, the commissioner may waive the provisions of any regulation adopted pursuant to this section if the commissioner determines that such waiver would not endanger the life, safety or health of any child. The commissioner shall prescribe the duration of such waiver, provided such waiver shall not extend beyond the duration of the declared emergency. The commissioner shall establish the criteria by which a waiver request shall be made and the conditions for which a waiver will be granted or denied. The provisions of section 19a-84 shall not apply to a denial of a waiver request under this subsection.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 19a-79-5a of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies relating to physical examination requirements and subsection (e) of section 19a-79-6a of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies relating to immunization requirements, homeless children and youths, as defined in 42 USC 11434a, as amended from time to time, may be allowed to attend a child care center or group child care home for up to ninety days. Any child care center or group child care home that provides child care services to homeless children and youths at such center or home shall maintain a record on file of all temporary waiver determinations conducted under this subsection for a period of two years after such homeless children and youths are no longer receiving child care services at such center or home.

Sec. 3. Section 19a-87b of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) No person, group of persons, association, organization, corporation, institution or agency, public or private, shall maintain a family child care home, as defined in section 19a-77, without a license issued by the Commissioner of Early Childhood. Licensure forms shall be obtained from the Office of Early Childhood. Applications for licensure shall be made to the commissioner on forms provided by the office and shall contain the information required by regulations adopted under this section. The licensure and application forms shall contain a notice that false statements made therein are punishable in accordance with section 53a-157b. Applicants shall state, in writing, that they are in compliance with the regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. Before a family child care home license is granted, the office shall make an inquiry and investigation which shall include a visit and inspection of the premises for which the license is requested. Any inspection conducted by the office shall include an inspection for evident sources of lead poisoning. The office shall provide for a chemical analysis of any paint chips found on such premises. Neither the commissioner nor the commissioner's designee shall require an annual inspection for homes seeking license renewal or for licensed homes, except that the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall make an unannounced visit, inspection or investigation of each licensed family child care home at least once every year. A licensed family child care home shall not be subject to any conditions on the operation of such home by local officials, other than those imposed by the office pursuant to this subsection, if the home complies with all local codes and ordinances applicable to single and multifamily dwellings.

(b) No person shall act as an assistant or substitute staff member to a person or entity maintaining a family child care home, as defined in section 19a-77, without an approval issued by the commissioner. Any person seeking to act as an assistant or substitute staff member in a family child care home shall submit an application for such approval to the office. Applications for approval shall: (1) Be made to the commissioner on forms provided by the office, (2) contain the information required by regulations adopted under this section, and (3) be accompanied by a fee of fifteen dollars. The approval application forms shall contain a notice that false statements made in such form are punishable in accordance with section 53a-157b.

(c) The commissioner, within available appropriations, shall require each initial applicant or prospective employee of a family child care home in a position requiring the provision of care to a child, including an assistant or substitute staff member, to submit to state and national criminal history records checks. The criminal history records checks required pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with section 29-17a. The commissioner shall also request a check of the state child abuse registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k. The commissioner shall notify each licensee of the provisions of this subsection.

(d) An application for initial licensure pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by a fee of forty dollars and such license shall be issued for a term of four years. An application for renewal of a license issued pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by a fee of forty dollars and a certification from the licensee that any child enrolled in the family child care home has received age-appropriate immunizations in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. A license issued pursuant to this section shall be renewed for a term of four years. In the case of an applicant submitting an application for renewal of a license that has expired, and who has ceased operations of a family child care home due to such expired license, the commissioner may renew such expired license within thirty days of the date of such expiration upon receipt of an application for renewal that is accompanied by such fee and such certification.

(e) An application for initial staff approval or renewal of staff approval shall be accompanied by a fee of fifteen dollars. Such approvals shall be issued or renewed for a term of two years.

(f) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to assure that family child care homes, as defined in section 19a-77, shall meet the health, educational and social needs of children utilizing such homes. Such regulations shall ensure that the family child care home is treated as a residence, and not an institutional facility. Such regulations shall specify that each child be protected as age-appropriate by adequate immunization against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, hemophilus influenzae type B and any other vaccine required by the schedule of active immunization adopted pursuant to section 19a-7f. Such regulations shall provide appropriate exemptions for children for whom such immunization is medically contraindicated and for children whose parents or guardian objects to such immunization on religious grounds and require that any such objection be accompanied by a statement from such parents or guardian that such immunization would be contrary to the religious beliefs of such child or the parents or guardian of such child, which statement shall be acknowledged, in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-32, 1-34 and 1-35, by (1) a judge of a court of record or a family support magistrate, (2) a clerk or deputy clerk of a court having a seal, (3) a town clerk, (4) a notary public, (5) a justice of the peace, or (6) an attorney admitted to the bar of this state. Such regulations shall also specify conditions under which family child care home providers may administer tests to monitor glucose levels in a child with diagnosed diabetes mellitus, and administer medicinal preparations, including controlled drugs specified in the regulations by the commissioner, to a child receiving child care services at a family child care home pursuant to a written order of a physician licensed to practice medicine in this or another state, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-94a or a physician assistant licensed to prescribe in accordance with section 20-12d, and the written authorization of a parent or guardian of such child. Such regulations shall specify appropriate standards for extended care and intermittent short-term overnight care. The commissioner shall inform each licensee, by way of a plain language summary provided not later than sixty days after the regulation's effective date, of any new or changed regulations adopted under this subsection with which a licensee must comply.

(g) Upon the declaration by the Governor of a civil preparedness emergency pursuant to section 28-9 or a public health emergency pursuant to section 19a-131a, the commissioner may waive the provisions of any regulation adopted pursuant to this section if the commissioner determines that such waiver would not endanger the life, safety or health of any child. The commissioner shall prescribe the duration of such waiver, provided such waiver shall not extend beyond the duration of the declared emergency. The commissioner shall establish the criteria by which a waiver request shall be made and the conditions for which a waiver will be granted or denied. The provisions of section 19a-84 shall not apply to a denial of a waiver request under this subsection.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 19a-87b-10 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies relating to physical examination requirements and subsection (k) of section 19a-87b-10 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies relating to immunization requirements, homeless children and youths, as defined in 42 USC 11434a, as amended from time to time, may be allowed to attend a family child care home for up to ninety days. Any family child care home that provides child care services to homeless children and youths at such home shall maintain a record on file of all temporary waiver determinations conducted under this subsection for a period of two years after such homeless children and youths are no longer receiving child care services at such home.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

17b-749(a)

Sec. 2

from passage

19a-79

Sec. 3

from passage

19a-87b

Statement of Purpose:

To implement the Governor's budget recommendations.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]