The Importance of Protecting Hoosier Children
Now that the 2014 legislative session has come and gone, I have been enjoying spending time in my district. But this week, I went to the Statehouse for the bill signing of legislation that I co-authored, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1036. Most importantly, this legislation provides necessary protection for our kids and deserves community support.
A variety of legislation has been enacted this year covering the topics of agriculture, education, transportation and job creation. Although the bills that especially capture my compassion and support are those defending our Hoosier children. HEA 1036 was one of those bills, requiring child care providers that are receiving Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) voucher payments to follow safety guidelines that protect the health and safety of the children within their care.
I am a believer in the idea that if an organization is accepting taxpayer dollars, then that organization should be held accountable for their actions. Therefore, to receive any voucher payments from the CCDF, child care facilities must maintain their eligibility by following the provisions provided by HEA 1036.
This bill also defines the child-to-staff ratio provision so that each child is watched over and attended to. Additionally, providers must report all serious injuries that have occurred in their care to both the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and the parents of the children involved.
Making sure each of the CCDF providers is properly educated is a great way to ensure that each facility employs dedicated and prepared staff. Training approved by the FSSA concerning child abuse detection and prevention is obligatory for all CCDF provider employees.
Receiving a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education related to the age appropriate educational development, care and safety of children will supply CCDF provider employees with expansive knowledge and experience. In order to help child care providers meet the continuing education requirements, the Bureau of Child Care (BCC) will be offering child care and development training classes. The BCC currently offers free, online training courses covering early learning guidelines.
The provisions created by this legislation are basic, but accomplish the task of creating a secure environment for Hoosier children. Attending the bill signing of HEA 1036 was a pleasure and I am proud to share the benefits of this legislation with you. If you are interested in learning more about HEA 1036 or any other Enrolled Act, you can visit iga.in.gov and search our legislation.
Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.