SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: April 24, 2007
CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108
A SAFETY RATING SYSTEM FOR CHILDCARE FACILITIES? COUNTY SAYS A+
Jacob says system will help busy parents find safe, quality care
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors gave its unanimous support Tuesday to State legislation that would create a safety rating system for childcare facilities.
Modeled after a program that assigns health and safety grades to restaurants, Assembly Bill 313 calls for safety ratings to be posted on State licensed childcare facilities in noticeable spots like a main door or a front window.
If approved, the State Department of Social Services would be required to update the ratings frequently and post the information on its website.
"With inspections of childcare facilities already taking place, a user-friendly rating system is a fast and easy way for parents to feel more confident about their childcare choices," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who brought the matter to the Board.
Jacob said the program would award quality providers with high ratings and alert parents to problematic providers. She expressed frustration with providers that don’t take steps to correct repeat violations and said the law would protect children like 20-month old Aryanna Sanchez who drowned at a California daycare facility in 2004.
“This tragedy happened despite numerous citations issued by State regulators for serious safety violations, including leaving the spa uncovered and having a broken pool gate latch,” Jacob said. “AB 313 will help prevent future tragedies and keep kids safe,” she said.
About 1.2 million children currently access California’s 58,000 licensed childcare facilities.
Currently, 13 states have safety rating systems in place.