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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Ind. representative advocates for day care reform

Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse, chairman of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, plans to cosponsor day care ratio bills this year, which would impose new rules on unlicensed, federally-funded day cares.

Ratios in day cares are the number of children per number of staff members present.
“What we’re hoping to do this next session is to take it a little bit further and deal more with ratios,” Kubacki said.

Kubacki said she wants fewer children per the number of staff members present.
Some other things Kubacki has worked on are ensuring day care providers have national background checks performed and master basic CPR skills.

National background checks allow employers to see applicants’ crimes committed in any state, not just in Indiana.

Any day care that receives Family and Social Services Administration funding will have to adhere to the legislation child care reforms.

“Anyone that receives FSSA have to abide by the same principles,” Kubacki said.

Kubacki said these reforms are important to her because she is a mother and a grandmother.

Many mothers have to work because they have no choice, she said.

They are low-income families, but just because they are low-income does not mean they should have sub-standard care, she said.

“Children need to be taken care of properly, especially if you’re getting federal funding,” Kubacki said. “That’s supposed to take care of that problem.”

Kubacki said she is not sure why day care reforms have not been an issue before, but she has made it an issue now.

“I can’t tell you why it hasn’t been done, but in the future, it’s going to be a priority of mine,” Kubacki said.

If ratios were to be enforced, it might affect day cares who try to offer a lower price child care option.

Hiring more staff to meet the staff member-to-child ratio quota would mean the day care would have to raise the tuition price in order to cover staff salaries. Therefore, parents might not be able to afford it.

Tamra Mullins, owner of Kozy Kids Daycare, a licensed home day care, said her day care follows the ratio of 15 children to two providers.

She said she believes the ministry day cares, which are operated by a church or religious organization, will be affected because the amount of children they can take is based on square footage and not ratios, while her home licensed day care has a cap of 16.

“You don’t want 50 kids with two people watching them,” Kubacki said. “The reason you want ratios is because in a fire or anything like that you want to have enough people to take up the children you’re taking care of.”

Follow reporter Mary Hauber on Twitter @mary_hauber.

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