INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A state committee studying Indiana’s child care system
has wrapped up its meetings without making any recommendations on possible
law changes for legislators to consider.
The panel of lawmakers, child advocates and state officials had its meeting
adjourned Tuesday by its chairman before taking any votes, The Indianapolis
Committee chairman Rep. Timothy Wesco, R-Osceola, said he didn’t believe the
group had reached a consensus on the wording of proposed bills, which would
have been put before the General Assembly for its session starting in
Proposals that had been discussed by the Committee on Child Care included
setting minimum staffing levels and new health and safety standards for day
Ann Murtlow, the president and CEO of the United Way of Central Indiana,
said the lack of committee action was “disappointing and perplexing.”
The United Way agency has made improving early childhood education one of
its top goals.
“This was a kind of a run-into-a-brick-wall meeting, and we don’t quite
understand it,” Murtlow said. “The committee was proposing things that we
think were critically necessary to protect our children.”
Recommendations from the study committee aren’t required for lawmakers to
act, but such endorsements often boost support for bills.
The committee had discussed requiring operators of unlicensed day cares that
receive public money to undergo training or ensure they had adequate
Indiana already requires home day care providers who look after six or more
children not related to them to be trained in health and safety precautions
and follow strict safe-sleep procedures. But homes with five or fewer are
not subject to state scrutiny.
A recent Indianapolis Star investigation found that 15 of the Indiana’s 21
day care deaths since 2009 occurred in unlicensed or illegal facilities.
Committee member Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus, said he believed it might
have reached a consensus with a little more work and expects legislators
will take up proposals next year.