(Albany, NY) – As children get ready to go to camp, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) is calling on Governor Cuomo to sign legislation (S.1140) into law, which notifies parents if a camp they have chosen is not regulated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
There are about 10,000 non-regulated single purpose day camps in New York State, which are not required to meet the same health and safety standards as regulated camps because they are not required to obtain a permit from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). This means they do not have to check if staff is on the sex offender registry prior to hiring, they do not have to report injuries or illnesses of campers, and they are not required to keep up to date vaccination records of campers. Single purpose camps focus on one activity like a baseball or soccer and are extremely popular for children who specialize in a sport.
“Many parents have no idea they have chosen a non-regulated camp that is not inspected by the State,” said Senator David Carlucci. “We need parents to be informed about the risks associated with choosing a non-regulated camp so they can make the best decision for their children.”
The legislation sponsored by Senator Carlucci requires non-regulated children's camps provide parents or guardians notice that they are not regulated by the NYSDOH by including the following warning on a child’s application or enrollment form:
"This camp is not regulated or inspected by the New York State Department of Health and is not required to obtain a Department of Health permit. This camp is not required to follow Department of Health regulations, including, checking the state sex offender registry prior to hiring staff; maintaining minimum staff-to-child ratios; hiring medical personnel; or reporting injuries or illnesses to the Department of Health."
Non-regulated camps will also have to include the warning on their website and post it prominently at the camp’s facilities.
The New York State Camp Directors Association and the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey firmly support this bill.
“We applaud the efforts that Senator Carlucci is making on behalf of the safety of children in the state of New York,” said Susie Lupert with the New York State Camp Directors Association and American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey. “For too long, families have been kept in the dark about how camps are licensed. It is time to be up front with the public about which camps are regulated and which ones are not."
The Governor has until December 31st to sign the bill into law.