CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Lawmakers are moving forward with two bills that seek greater accountability at Nevada daycares.
Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse of Henderson is scheduled to present a bill this week that would mandate 24 hours of training each year for anyone who works at a daycare of four or fewer children.
“There’s a difference between someone who’s providing care for friends and neighbors or even through word of mouth,” said Sen. Becky Harris, the one Republican who supported the bill in the Senate’s 13-8 vote last week. “I think, when you start expanding to where you need employees to help you with child care, you need to have some training in place.”
Opponents argue the mandate defeats the purpose of alleviating small daycares of the burden of licensing and regulation.
“I question the appropriateness of reaching into an individual’s home or play group and mandating the training take place,” said Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, a Reno Republican opposed to the bill. “I have concerns that we’re overreaching.”
The proposal does not include a way to enforce the training requirement at small daycare organizations.
Currently, child care facilities that care for 5 children or more are subject to state licensure, training, safety and oversight requirements, as well as annual inspections.
Woodhouse’s Senate Bill 189 would make those inspections more thorough — covering the health, safety and welfare of children, not just the facility’s sanitation.
It would also require state health officials to include serious drug crimes and convictions of driving under the influence in their background checks of daycare employees.
A separate bill would allow small daycares to voluntarily register with the state and subject themselves to background checks and other state oversight. Lawmakers transmitted Democratic Assemblywoman Amber Joiner’s Assembly Bill 346 to the governor on Saturday.