January 26, 2021
Print This PagePrint This Page

  *
Session:
Bill #:
Session:
Chamber: View Search Tips
Search Term:
Year: View Search Tips
Search Term:
Senate Bill 0158

Senate Bill sb0158c1

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158

    By the Committee on Children and Families; and Senator Lynn





    300-1148-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to religious-exempt child care

  3         programs; amending s. 402.316, F.S.; providing

  4         for a child care program affiliated with a

  5         church, temple, or parochial school to be

  6         exempt from regulation by the department as a

  7         religious-exempt child care program; requiring

  8         religious-exempt child care programs to display

  9         a certificate of compliance issued by an

10         accrediting agency recognized by the

11         department; providing requirements for

12         accrediting agencies recognized by the

13         department; requiring a recognized accrediting

14         agency to conduct an initial on-site review;

15         providing timeframes within which child care

16         programs must meet the requirements for

17         training and credentials; requiring recognized

18         accrediting agencies for religious exemption to

19         submit standards to the department; requiring

20         the department to create and maintain a list of

21         recognized accrediting agencies; providing that

22         the act does not authorize the department to

23         regulate certain specified elements of a

24         religious-exempt child care program; requiring

25         that the department notify recognized

26         accrediting agencies of any revision in

27         standards; requiring that a recognized

28         accrediting agency submit an annual report;

29         providing timeframes within which an exempt

30         child care program must notify an accrediting

31         agency of its transfer and termination of

                                  1

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158
    300-1148-04




 1         accreditation; prohibiting a recognized

 2         accrediting agency for religious exemption from

 3         owning, operating, or administering certain

 4         programs; requiring the department to

 5         facilitate an annual meeting; providing an

 6         effective date.

 7  

 8  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 9  

10         Section 1.  Section 402.316, Florida Statutes, is

11  amended to read:

12         (Substantial rewording of section. See

13         s. 402.316, F.S., for present text.)

14         402.316  Exemption for child care program or weekday

15  preschool program accredited by a recognized accrediting

16  agency for religious exemption.--

17         (1)  A child care program or weekday preschool program

18  qualifies for the exemption provided in this section if the

19  program is an integral part of an established church, temple,

20  or parochial school conducting regularly scheduled classes,

21  courses of study, or educational programs, and is a member or

22  participant of, or accredited by, a state, regional, or

23  national accrediting agency for religious exemption which is

24  recognized by the Department of Children and Family Services.

25  A child care program or weekday preschool program that

26  qualifies as a religious-exempt child care program may choose

27  to be exempt from the requirements for child care licensing

28  established in ss. 402.301-402.319 or may voluntarily be

29  licensed under ss. 402.301-402.319. If a religious-exempt

30  child care program chooses to be exempt from the requirements

31  of ss. 402.301-402.319, the program must meet the screening

                                  2

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158
    300-1148-04




 1  requirements in ss. 402.305 and 402.3055 and must display its

 2  certificate of compliance issued by a recognized accrediting

 3  agency for religious exemption in a conspicuous location in

 4  the facility. Failure to post the certificate of compliance in

 5  a conspicuous location will result in an administrative action

 6  as determined by the standards of the program's accrediting

 7  agency for religious exemption.

 8         (2)  The department shall verify an accrediting agency

 9  as a recognized accrediting agency for religious exemption if

10  the accrediting agency:

11         (a)  Adopts minimum standards for operating a child

12  care program or weekday preschool program which meet or exceed

13  the department's minimum standards set forth in s. 402.305

14  (1)-(11), (13), (15), and (16);

15         (b)  Publishes its minimum standards and requires a

16  child care program or weekday preschool program that is a

17  member or participant of, or accredited by, the agency to

18  comply with the accrediting agency's minimum standards;

19         (c)  Requires a program that is a member or participant

20  of, or accredited by, the agency to meet the minimum

21  requirements of the local governing body with respect to

22  health, sanitation, and safety, including minimum requirements

23  for environmental health, firesafety, zoning, and building

24  codes;

25         (d)  Requires a program that is a member or participant

26  of, or accredited by, the agency to inform parents that the

27  program is exempt from state licensing requirements but meets

28  the standards of the program's accrediting agency, which meet

29  or exceed the department's minimum standards;

30         (e)  Conducts an initial on-site review of each program

31  that is a member or participant of, or accredited by, the

                                  3

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158
    300-1148-04




 1  agency. Each year thereafter, a notarized statement must be

 2  submitted to the accrediting agency by each program verifying

 3  compliance with applicable state laws and the accrediting

 4  agency's published minimum standards; and

 5         (f)  Requires child care personnel employed by a

 6  program that is a member or participant of, or accredited by,

 7  the agency to comply with standards that meet or exceed the

 8  standards set forth in s. 402.305(2)(d). A recognized

 9  accrediting agency for religious exemption must require child

10  care personnel to begin a 40-clock-hour introductory course in

11  child care, approved by the department, by October 1, 2004, or

12  within 90 days after employment and complete the training

13  within 1 year after the date on which the training begins. In

14  addition, a recognized accrediting agency shall require a

15  program that is a member or participant of, or accredited by,

16  the agency to meet or exceed the requirements for staff

17  credentials set forth in s. 402.305(3) by July 1, 2008. The

18  department and accrediting agencies for religious exemption

19  shall work collaboratively to expedite the approval of

20  equivalency programs developed by the accrediting agencies.

21         (3)  Each accrediting agency for religious exemption

22  that seeks recognition by the department under this section

23  must submit a copy of its published standards to the

24  department for review. These standards shall be reviewed by

25  the department within 30 days after submission. The department

26  shall recognize an accrediting agency if the agency is in

27  compliance with subsection (2). The department shall create

28  and maintain a complete and accurate list of all recognized

29  accrediting agencies for religious exemption and specify the

30  agencies' standards.

31  

                                  4

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158
    300-1148-04




 1         (4)  This section does not authorize the department to

 2  regulate or control an accrediting agency for religious

 3  exemption or to regulate or control the governance, religious

 4  curriculum, academic curriculum, testing or assessments,

 5  evaluation procedures, academic requirements of the staff,

 6  discipline, or hiring practices of any religious-exempt child

 7  care program.

 8         (5)  The department shall distribute to each recognized

 9  accrediting agency for religious exemption any revision made

10  to the department's minimum standards within 30 days after the

11  revision is adopted. Within 30 days after the receipt of

12  revised minimum standards from the department, each recognized

13  accrediting agency for religious exemption shall notify the

14  department by written statement documenting that they have

15  notified each exempt program of the revised standards. The new

16  standards shall be incorporated during the next revision of

17  the accrediting agency's minimum standards. Each recognized

18  accrediting agency for religious exemption shall maintain and

19  submit to the department an annual report that includes an

20  updated listing of programs that are members or participants

21  of, or accredited by, that agency and submit a written notice

22  of a new program coming into affiliation thereafter, or

23  terminating affiliation, within 30 days after such action. A

24  religious-exempt child care program that transfers its

25  affiliation from one accrediting agency to another must notify

26  the accrediting agency from which it is transferring 30 days

27  in advance of the transfer.

28         (6)  A recognized accrediting agency for religious

29  exemption may not own, operate, or administer a child care

30  program or weekday preschool program under its certificate of

31  approval. A child care program or weekday preschool program

                                  5

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                            CS for SB 158
    300-1148-04




 1  exempt from ss. 402.301-402.319 under this section is solely

 2  responsible for its day-to-day operations and compliance with

 3  applicable state laws and the minimum standards of its

 4  accrediting agency for religious exemption.

 5         (7)  The department shall facilitate an annual meeting

 6  with the accrediting agencies for religious exemption, health

 7  and safety officials, and other interested child advocates to

 8  exchange ideas for ensuring the health and safety of children

 9  in child care and preschool programs.

10         Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

11  

12          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
13                         Senate Bill 158

14                                 

15  
    *    Retains from current law that religious-exempt child care
16       programs meet background screening requirements.

17  
    *    Corrects an inconsistent reference to the provisions
18       which the accrediting agency is required to meet in order
         to be recognized by the department for offering religious
19       exemption.

20  
    *    Limits the local governing body health, sanitation, and
21       safety requirements that religious-exempt child care
         programs must meet to the categories of requirements
22       stipulated in the section.

23  
    *    Expands the aspects of the religious-exempt child care
24       programs' operation that the Department of Children and
         Families may regulate or control.
25  

26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  6

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

Site Map
Session:   Bills ·   Calendars ·   Bound Journals ·   Citator ·   Search ·   Appropriations ·   Redistricting ·   Bill Information Reports
Committee Publications
Historical Information
Statutes:   Introduction ·   View Statutes ·   Search Statutes
Flsenate.gov
Disclaimer: The information on this system is unverified. The journals or printed bills of the respective chambers should be consulted for official purposes.    Copyright © 2000-2021 State of Florida.     Privacy Statement     Contact Us     Get Acrobat Reader