ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says she believes all daycare centers operating in Alabama should be licensed through the state.
“I strongly favor that if you’re going to be a daycare center for children you need to be licensed by the state,“ says Governor Ivey.
Gov. Ivey made the remarks Wednesday to reporters while attending the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Convention in Orange Beach. Her comments come after a Community Nursery and Pres-school worker, Valarie Patterson, was arrested and charged in the death of 5-year-old Kamden Johnson. Community Nursery and Pre-school is a faith-based operation and therefore exempt from the state licensure process.
Earlier this year, a bill failed to pass in the Alabama Legislature that would have required more oversight of faith-based daycares. The measure overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate.
The bill would have required religious institutions to undergo the same stricter regulations that normal daycares go through under the Department of Human Resources. Currently, church-run daycare centers do not have to undergo certain inspections or meet minimum safety requirements. Church daycare workers are also not required to pass a criminal background check.
“Any child that’s in the care of a daycare center, that center needs to be licensed to ensure that we’ve got quality folks rendering quality service to protect our children,” says Ivey.