House approves compromise day care regulation

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a compromise day care regulation bill that will require yearly inspections for church-run facilities and licenses for ones that take government subsidies.

Representatives approved the bill on an 88-9 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, the bill's sponsor, said it will bring some oversight to faith-based facilities that previously had none.

Melanie R. Bridgeforth, executive director of VOICES for Alabama's children, said putting the licensure requirement on facilities that receive government funds will impact 497 day cares.

Alabama for years has broadly exempted faith-based day cares from regulation.

Warren had sought to end the exemption entirely, but had opposition from some church facilities.

Exempt facilities do not have to meet state regulations such as worker-to-child ratios.

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