The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would require additional inspections of religiously-affiliated day cares.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, represented an erosion of an earlier bill that would have required licensing of those day cares, whose lack of monitoring came into the public spotlight after a series of stories about abuse, neglect or illness at certain exempt centers. But the bill -- which still needs Senate approval -- would provide new oversight to the day cares, and might cut the number of exempt day cares in half.
"This has been a true compromise bill because no one got what they wanted," Warren said. "But I think we got a great start to ensuring day cares are providing the health and safety we need for our children."
Warren's bill would require the exempt day cares to provide annual documentation on fire and health inspections; names of employees and criminal histories and proof of insurance. Exempt day cares would also have to go through annual fire and health inspections.