Va. governor proposes changes to daycare regulations

Posted at 8:09 PM, Dec 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-17 20:10:14-05

RICHMOND, Va - The governor's office said they plan to introduce legislation that would require any daycare provider who receives state funding acquire a license.

Currently, unlicensed providers who report their business to the state can get subsidies, according to the Department of Social Services (D.S.S.).

The governor's office said the proposal would affect 1,920 unlicensed providers they know about.

The move comes less than two months after a one-year-old boy was killed in a house fire at an unlicensed home daycare in Chesterfield.

"The governor believes this is a common sense proposal to ensure that when Virginians drop their loved ones off at a daycare center, the state has done all it can do to ensure that those facilities are safe," a spokesperson for the Governor said in an email to CBS 6.

The governor's office said $2.7 million has been set aside to hire 28 new inspectors, who would report to D.S.S.

Annie Hayes, who operates a licensed in-home daycare in Richmond, said one of the most important parts of her business is her relationship with inspectors.

"They don't come here and do me favors.  They tell me what I need to do and that's what I do," said Hayes.

"Our processes will remain the same.  We just need to ensure that we train these individuals in the way they need to be trained," said Eddie Richardson, Associate Director of Licensing for D.S.S.

Richardson added that they rely on parent complaints to track down daycare facilities that are operating illegally; however, the governor's office said they would announce further legislative actions to address issues like this in the coming weeks.