News releases, contact information and other resources for members of the media.
PDF version of news release
Proposals in Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget will improve child safety and prevent infant deaths in family child care, said Jerry Kerber, inspector general for the Department of Human Services. Kerber testified today before the Senate Health and Human Services Finance Division.
Kerber said the proposals are based on discussions with child care providers and parents at meetings held last fall on preventing child care deaths. Over a 10-year period beginning in August 2002, 83 children died in family child care homes with 75 percent of those deaths involving an unsafe sleep situation.
“These proposals are about reducing the preventable deaths that occurred as a result of safe sleep violations,” said Kerber. “We have to do something to get at compliance, and these proposals are all designed to do that.”
The recommendations make licensing changes to improve safety in child care settings particularly related to safe sleep and to prevent infant deaths. They include additional training requirements for child care providers, clarifications of existing requirements and several new requirements related to infant sleeping situations. DHS will put additional compliance information about family child care providers online for the public and parents to help make child care decisions.
The proposal invests $2.3 million over the biennium for licensing and training improvements. More information is in a fact sheet: Child care licensing changes. Fact sheets on additional DHS legislative initiatives and proposals are on the DHS website.