House Approves Bill Adding More Protections for Children in Daycare

Mike Seals - March 5, 2021 9:19 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, secured passage of legislation that would prohibit a daycare center employee with a substantiated finding of shocking and heinous child abuse from being hired by another daycare center.

Miller said House Bill 1797 closes a loophole in current statute that was brought to her attention by a constituent whose child was attending a daycare facility when an incident occurred. The employee in question was previously involved in an incident at another facility and was still legally allowed to work at a daycare because the employee had not yet been added to the Restricted Registry maintained by the Dept. of Human Services.

“The incident surrounding this bill was tragic and is something no child or their family should have to go through,” Miller said. “As a mother myself, I’m thankful to the mother who brought forward the oversight in this statute and to my colleagues in the House for their support of this bill, which I hope will help keep our children safe.”

The measure would also require the facility to notify parents or guardians within one day of the substantiated finding.

Miller said she worked closely with the Dept. Human Services on the legislation, whose guidance was instrumental.

Joe Dorman, CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, said the bill helps protect Oklahoma’s children.

“The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is grateful to Representative Miller for writing this bill,” Joe Dorman, the organization’s CEO said. “This will provide another layer of protection for our children by keeping potential child abusers out of childcare facilities. OICA appreciates the full House of Representatives for their overwhelming support for the measure, and we look forward to speedy Senate passage as we continue to support the bill.”

HB1797 passed the House 96-1 and now proceeds to the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan.

 

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