Thursday, July 16, 2009

Isakson, Dodd Introduce Legislation Requiring Child Care Providers to Disclose Insurance Status

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today introduced legislation that would require child care providers to disclose whether they have liability insurance.

The legislation was prompted by the story of Anthony DeJuan Boatwright, also known as Juan. In 2001, when he was 14 months old, Juan fell into an unattended bucket of mop water at his child care center in Augusta, Ga. As a result of the accident, Juan has remained semi-comatose and dependent on a ventilator for the past eight years. The center where Juan was injured was licensed, but not insured. At the time, there was no provision in place to let parents know the insurance status of child care providers.

“I hope the Senate will quickly pass this straight-forward, bipartisan legislation to simultaneously honor young Juan and provide parents with much-needed information about child care facilities,” Isakson said. “Juan’s mother Jackie deserves considerable credit for her efforts to ensure all parents know whether or not their child care provider is insured.”

“As the father of two young daughters, I understand the need for parents to be well informed when making decisions about child care,” said Dodd. “This bill will help to protect children and give parents peace of mind. I’m proud to support this important legislation, and look forward to future opportunities to improve the quality of and access to child care in this country for children, families, and providers.”

Specifically, the Anthony DeJuan Boatwright Act would require child care providers that receive Child Care and Development Block Grant funds to disclose whether or not they carry liability insurance for the operation of their facility. The bill also would require that states recommend such coverage in their licensure process.

Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Roland Burris, D-Ill., also are co-sponsors of the bill. A companion bill passed in the House of Representatives on June 2, 2009.
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