Session Daily: Lawmakers consider changes to substitute child care provider policy

EXCERPT: “As more and more licensed child care providers close up shop, worsening the child care shortage, lawmakers are considering a number of reforms geared toward reversing that trend. Sponsored by Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township), HF1685, as amended, would allow child care providers to use a substitute caregiver for up to 300 hours in a year. The bill was held over by the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division Monday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. Under current rules, a licensed family day care or group family day care provider may use a substitute caregiver to take over in their absence, up to 30 days in a 12-month period. Wazlawik said that by changing the substitute days to hours, providers would be able to make the most of their time off. ‘In a lot of cases, caregivers are not taking full days off, they may take a couple hours in a day to go to an appointment,’ she said.  ‘This is an attempt to try to allow some greater flexibility by allowing providers to count hours instead of entire days.’ Julie Seydel, public policy director for the Minnesota Association of Child Care Professionals, supports the proposal, but said it doesn’t go far enough.” FULLSTORY: