Child Care Study Recommends State Oversight of Local Parks Programs

October 4, 2016

VDSS

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) was directed by SJ 63 to study child day programs that are exempt from licensure and make recommendations on whether to retain those exemptions or make modifications to them. The study committee, which released a draft report last week, is recommending that several of the 14 current license exemptions in § 63.2-1715 should not be classified as child care at all, such as competition in organized sports leagues, participation in Early Intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, or supervision in nurseries offered by religious institutions to allow parents to attend services on-site.

Those programs remaining in the category of child day programs that are exempt from licensure would need to register with VDSS, comply with basic VDSS health and safety standards and post signage indicating that the programs are not licensed. Recreational activities offered by local governments that are staffed by local government employees, such as parks and recreation summer camps, would fall into this category, which would also encompass programs where school-aged children may come and go by parental consent and on-site child-minding services offered in commercial establishments (such as child care services offered at health clubs, for example).

Although the minimum health and safety standards discussed by the work group should not present problems for local parks and recreation programs, VACo and other local government representatives expressed concern at locally-administered programs being required to register with the state. This issue will likely be a subject of discussion during the 2017 General Assembly session.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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