New Virginia Bill Says Religious Childcare Workers Could Avoid Fingerprinting

| by Michael Allen

The Virginia House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions recently voted 9-5 to approve House Bill 1570, which lowers the requirement for state licensing for day care centers from six (or more kids) to five (or more) children.

The bill "would require fingerprint background checks for licensed day care centers and home providers, but not unlicensed providers and those with a religious exemption, who would be subject only to a name background check as they are now," reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Delegate Robert D. Orrock Sr. (R) sponsored the bill.

A report from the nonprofit group Child Care Aware found that unlicensed child day care centers in Virginia are less safe than licensed facilities, but parents choose unlicensed establishments because of the cheaper cost, noted the
Chesterfield Observer.

Sharon Veatch, executive director of Child Care Aware, told The Washington Post that about 400,000 children in Virginia are in unlicensed child day car facilities. There have been several high-profile deaths of children in unlicensed facilities.

Sources: The Washington Post, Chesterfield Observer, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Image Credit: Doug Kerr