Governor Cuomo has introduced new emergency regulations he says will improve the safety and accountability of child day care programs in New York State. The regulations define the conditions under which the state may revoke or suspend a provider's license and increase penalties for serious violations of child care health and safety standards.
"Every parent should have access to safe, reliable child care," said Cuomo. "These new regulations will help improve access to quality care statewide by increasing transparency and accountability in the system."
The new rules come after the Senate unanimously passed the standards in the recently concluded legislative session, but they failed in the Assembly at the 11th hour. Cuomo says parents should not have to worry about their children in day care.
"The state has the ultimate responsibility," Cuomo said. "The state will issue regulations that make sure a day care facility is regulated, is safe, your child is healthy and your child is not being abused. That is the minimum."
Cuomo says the state now will be able to suspend, limit or revoke a care provider's license for insufficient staff-to-child ratios, failure to obtain appropriate medical treatment for a child, blocked exits, corporal punishment, poor sanitary conditions and refusing to comply with inspectors, among other conditions deemed as "imminent dangers." The state also is expanding its online registry of providers to include inspection and violation histories up to six years.
In addition, fines for first-time and repeat offenses increase to $500 a day and state inspectors are now required to notify law enforcement when a facility is operating illegally. When a provider's facility is suspended or revoked, it will trigger a review of all the provider's facilities and facilities that have been shut down by the state are required to notify parents in writing.
Cuomo says there are some 21,000 child care programs in New York State, 11,000 of which are in New York City.