Rep. Olthoff’s bill protecting children advances to Senate

Posted by: Emily Gaylord  | Wednesday, January 31, 2018

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 31, 2018) — The House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed State Rep. Julie Olthoff’s (R-Crown Point) bill that creates additional commonsense safety requirements for child care providers.

Olthoff’s measure would require child care facility applicants to provide proof of a business permit or license from their town, city or county. Olthoff said this would allow local governments to weigh in.

“I authored this bill after a dangerous daycare incident in Merrillville made me realize that local officials are another needed layer of oversight for child care operations,” Olthoff said. “This legislation empowers local officials with the necessary information and right to inspect child care centers, and act quickly if they discover an unsafe environment.”

According to Olthoff, if any type of weapon is found in a place accessible to children at a licensed child care home, center or ministry, this bill would allow for its emergency closure.

“Between January 2016 and November 2017, there were 463 child care providers cited for violations concerning children’s accessibility to dangerous items,” Olthoff said. “We must protect children with no tolerance for unsafe conditions.”

Olthoff said this bill would also enact a waiting period between the revocation of a child care license and reapplying for a new license. Under current law, if a license is revoked, a child care business can reapply for a license the very next business day. Olthoff’s legislation would allow the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to impose a waiting period of up to a year before accepting any such applications.

Olthoff’s bill can now be considered by the Senate. To learn more about House Bill 1073, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Julie Olthoff represents House District 19,

which includes a portion of Lake and Porter counties.

A high-resolution photo of Olthoff can be found here.