It is the legislative intent to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the children of the state and to promote their emotional and intellectual development and care. Toward that end: (1) It is the purpose of ss. 402.301-402.319 to establish statewide minimum standards for the care and protection of children in child care facilities, to ensure maintenance of these standards, and to approve county administration and enforcement to regulate conditions in such facilities through a program of licensing.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that all owners, operators, and child care personnel shall be of good moral character.
(3) It shall be the policy of the state to ensure protection of children and to encourage child care providers and parents to share responsibility for and to assist in the improvement of child care programs.
(4) It shall be the policy of the state to promote public and private employer initiatives to establish day care services for their employees.
(5) It is the further legislative intent that the freedom of religion of all citizens shall be inviolate. Nothing in ss. 402.301-402.319 shall give any governmental agency jurisdiction or authority to regulate, supervise, or in any way be involved in any Sunday School, Sabbath School, or religious services or any nursery service or other program conducted during religious or church services primarily for the convenience of those attending such services.
(6) It is further the intent that membership organizations affiliated with national organizations which do not provide child care, whose primary purpose is providing activities that contribute to the development of good character or good sportsmanship or to the education or cultural development of minors in this state, which charge only a nominal annual membership fee, which are not for profit, and which are certified by their national associations as being in compliance with the association’s minimum standards and procedures shall not be considered child care facilities and therefore, their personnel shall not be required to be screened.
(7) It shall be the policy of the state to encourage child care providers to serve children with disabilities. When requested, the department shall provide technical assistance to parents and child care providers in order to facilitate serving children with disabilities.