Albany, NY— The New York State Senate today passed legislation by State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) requiring day care facilities inspected in New York City to prominently display “report cards” at their doors to better inform parents and guardians of their track records.
The legislation (S.5676A) comes on the heels of a major investigative report released in November by Senator Klein and State Senator Diane Savino (D-SI/Brooklyn), “The Hidden Dangers in Day Care,” which exposed child care facilities that consistently racked up violations. In an undercover video sting, day care providers with repeat violations lied to investigators about current and past violations.
“This report card will be presented right at the door, allowing parents to make informed decisions when choosing a day care for their child. We’ve seen too many tragedies borne out of negligent day cares with repeat violations and in unlicensed centers. This report card is a game changer because it places the most critical information in plain sight and will be an indicator of whether a facility is licensed,” said Senator Klein.
“New York City parents have been left in the dark when it comes to violations inside day care facilities. This new report card brings to light the most important information on staffing, possible suspensions, and violation history that parents must know before making a decision to leave their child in the hands of a provider,” said Senator Savino.
This legislation codifies an initiative Senator Klein negotiated with the City of New York to implement performance summary cards at the city’s 2,300 day cares. The inspection cards include information on:
· The number of years in operation
· The number of children permitted on site
· The number of teachers present
· The number of program suspensions over the past three years
· The average number of violations from its most recent inspection versus the citywide average;
· The average number of public health hazard violations from its most recent inspection versus the citywide average; and
· The number of public health hazard violations racked up over the past year
The report, “The Hidden Dangers in Day Care,” exposed a total of 18,102 violations issued to day cares between 2013 and 2015. The average number of violations is eight per day care. With parents unable to easily obtain complete and accurate information, many families were left to discover the perils of their day care only after enrolling their child.
Day cares inspected by the State Office of Children and Family Services are already required by law to prominently display their recent inspection and violation histories.
“We are thrilled about this new legislation. We have worked hard to support this bill. All children and families should be able to know that all health regulations are being followed, including all teachers being fingerprinted, all doors have security locks, and that there are proper emergency exits. Making sure that everyone is following these regulations is important for our kids’ safety. As a mother of four, I need to know that the facility where I leave my children is safe,” Pam Wolf, founder and CEO of the New York Kids Club.