Concern Over Child Care
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Concern Over Child Care

Date: January 16, 2008
By: Amy Becker
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: A rating system is extremely useful when trying to choose a restaurant or hotel. But how useful would a rating system be for your child care provider? Amy Becker has more from the state capitol. RunTime:3:12
OutCue: SOC

Majority leader Charlie Shields defended his bill that would put in place a state quality rating system that would rate Missouri early child care providers on a five star scale.

The bill is the same song, different tune for Shields.  Shields sponsored similar legislation last year but was defeated after worries that the system should be voluntary.  Now the program has been changed to optional.

Actuality:  CHAR1.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: Our goal in the bill would be to have all providers that receive funding for quality of improvement through this bill, to have and be rated by July 1st, 2011.

Shields says after the facilities are rated, he wants the legislature to base state funding on the facility's rating.

Currently, 16 states have a rating system while 29 other states are in development.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker.

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Intro:  Senate Majority leader Republican Charlie Shield's child care rating system bill is only in committee but has already received concern from some legislators.

Amy Becker has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

The bill would put in place a state child care rating system for early child care providers.

One concern was the potential cost increase if a facility receives a higher rating.

Supporters said you pay more for a steak at a five star restaurant than you do at a dirty restaurant down the street.  Senator Rita Days had this to say:

Actuality:  RITA.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: I'm concerned with again a low income parent that might not be able to afford a five star whatever.  Some people go to Tony's, some people go to McDonald's, that's the best that they can afford.

One witness in favor of the bill simply uttered the phrase, "Isn't your child worth it?"  While another witness said usually prices are not raised by facilities out of fear that they would no longer be able to cater to their core community.  The bill has yet to be voted on.

Reporting from the state capitol, I'm Amy Becker.

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Intro:  A bill sponsored by Senate Majority leader Charlie Shields would put in place a child care rating system.  A system one child care provider says, already exists.

Amy Becker has more from the state capitol.

RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Karen Warner of the Association of Child Care providers testified against House Bill 726 saying a system that rates child care providers and gives those with a higher rating more funding, already exists.

Warner also pointed out currently the possible deductions child care facilities have received from rating systems.

Actuality:  WARNER.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: They lost points for not having padding in their storm shelters.  They lost points for their multi-cultural dolls not having enough facial expression.  This is some of the guidelines that you follow when you go through this curriculum thing.

Shield's system focuses on licensed facilities who are qualified to be accredited by the state and to receive state funding. 

However, Warner says licensed facilities only make up 35 percent of child care facilities in Missouri and that the 10 million dollars being budgeted for the rating system would be better used elsewhere.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker, KMOX News.