Proposed regulations could toughen Missouri child care standards

MISSOURI - New proposed federal regulations for child care facilities could help save your child when they're not in your care. The regulations could change the way hundreds of day cares in Missouri look after your children.  

The sweeping regulations, announced Thursday, could bring much needed oversight to Missouri day care.

The proposed federal rules would mandate spot inspections, background checks and quality standards for day cares that accept federal money, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Under the Department of Health and Human Services, states receive $1.6 billion in aid annually. The program leaves it up to the states to decide how to enforce standards.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Missouri and other states have opted to exempt vast numbers of centers from most of any form of regulation. From 2007-2010, the St. Louis-Post Dispatch documented 45 deaths of children, mostly in unlicensed Missouri home day cares. A review of many of those deaths reveals infants were dying most often in homes that lacked inspections or basic prevention standards.

The federal rules must still undergo a review process that includes public hearings. The rules become effective as early as 2015.

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