Governor Andrew Cuomo has added new regulations to improve child care programs in New York.
These rules define the circumstances in which the state may take away or suspend a child care provider's licenses and increase penalties for serious violations of child care health and safety standards.
Providers must now include inspection and violation histories for up to six years, as well as more information on illegally operated programs.
"Every parent should have access to safe, reliable child care," Cuomo said. "These new regulations will help improve access to quality care statewide by increasing transparency and accountability in the system. From strengthening penalties for serious violations to updating our state registry to include a history of fines, these reforms will ensure New York's children are both safe and protected while in the care of their community provider."
The current law allows the state to suspend, revoke or limit a program's licenses when the child care provider poses an "imminent danger" to a child or to the public health. However, imminent danger has never been clearly defined.
Cuomo's new regulations now clearly define when the state should suspend, limit or revoke a child care provider's licenses. These include insufficient staff-to-child ratios, failure to obtain appropriate medical treatment for a child, blocked exits, corporal punishment, poor sanitary conditions and refusing to cooperate with inspectors.
In addition, the following reforms will also be made:
- Increase fines to up to $500 a day for both first-time and repeat serious offenses, including for fire, safety and health hazards;
- Require state inspectors to notify law enforcement of programs operating illegally;
- Trigger a review of all of a provider’s state-regulated programs whenever an operator’s license at one location is suspended or revoked; and
- Require providers operating illegal daycare programs to immediately notify parents in writing when they have been shut down by the state.