Senate Committee approves Hamilton’s child care licensing exemption

Friday, 09 February 2024 21:18

Senate Committee approves Hamilton’s child care licensing exemption Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved Senate Bill 1239 Thursday. The measure, authored by Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, seeks to reduce regulations on home childcare providers in an effort to alleviate child care deserts across the state.

“Nearly half of Oklahoma’s counties are classified as child care deserts, meaning there are not enough providers or facilities available, especially in rural areas of the state. This often results in parents having to drive long distances to find care for their children,” Hamilton said. “Many families have trusted relatives or friends whose care they’d be comfortable leaving their children in, but excessive regulations keep many qualified Oklahomans from providing child care.”

SB 1239 removes licensing requirements for home child care providers who provide a maximum of 30 hours of care a week for no more than seven children.

“I’ve heard from constituents in southeast Oklahoma who’ve experienced this problem firsthand,” Hamilton said. “The current licensing regulations have not only caused providers to shy away from the profession, but also resulted in the cost for child care increasing, making it difficult for parents to afford care and for providers to stay afloat. While this legislation does not remove any current regulations, it provides an exemption to ensure that more Oklahomans can provide care without fear of violating any regulations and that parents have more safe and trusted child care options to choose from.”

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