Senate Passes Bill To Protect Children In Day Care Centers

Martin J. Golden

June 23, 2008


Albany- The New York State Senate late yesterday passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Serphin Maltese (Queens), to prohibit individuals who have been convicted of a serious crime from working or volunteering in a day care center. The bill (S.6449-A) also calls for an employee’s termination and license revocation upon such convictions. Among those voting in favor of this legislation was State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn).

"I believe most people would agree that a convicted felon may not be the best choice as a daycare worker. Unfortunately a loophole in our laws has created a situation where a convicted sex offender was allowed to care for children at a state-subsidized day care center. As a parent, it disturbs me to think of the potential danger these innocent children faced. Closing this loophole is absolutely imperative to the safety of the children of our state."

"When it comes to the care and safety of our children, we should take no chances," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. "Currently, the Office of Children and Family Services has the discretion to determine if convicted felons pose a threat to our children, and can allow them to work or volunteer in a day care setting. This legislation will help ensure that children in day care environments are kept safe from those who may do them harm."

Under current law, convicted felons are permitted to work in a day care center if the State Office of Children and Family Services feels the individual’s criminal background does not jeopardize the health and safety of the children.

In addition, the Senate today passed the "Child Assault Reform Act (CARE), also sponsored by Senator Maltese, to increase the penalties for those who kill or injure children (S.8424).

The bills were sent to the Assembly.