Stricter Transparency & Enforcement In Child Care
The act addresses concerns related to child care providers (providers) that are operating without a valid license or are exempt from licensure, including:
- Adding a requirement for the state department of human services (department) to include the names and locations of cease-and-desist orders that have been issued against a child care provider on the department's child care provider website (website) that is accessible to the public;
- Adding an additional requirement for the department to post on its website the name and location of any provider operating outside the allowed exemptions and to whom one or more cease-and-desist order has been issued. The information posted must include name, location, and total number of cease-and-desist orders issued to the same provider.
- Establishing that a person operating a facility, whether licensed or exempt from licensure, that has received a cease-and-desist order from the department or a county department and who fails to cure the violation cited by the department or a county department in the allotted period is guilty of a petty offense;
- Revising and increasing the language related to civil penalties and fines for persons operating a facility, whether licensed or exempt from licensure; and
- Clarifying that those petty offenses count toward the withholding of Colorado child care assistance program money for family child care home providers.
In honor and memory of Elle Matthews, the act names section 26-6-112 of the Colorado Revised Statutes the "Elle Matthews Act for Increased Safety in Child Care".
For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, $83,375 is appropriated to the department of human services for use by the office of early childhood. This appropriation is from federal child care development funds. To implement the act, the office may use the appropriation for child care licensing and administration.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)