Monday, March 6, 2015
Augusta – This morning, Rep. Karen Gerrish introduced legislation in front of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services to protect children who attend daycare facilities in Maine. Currently, Maine ranks 47th in the nation in terms of oversight at our daycare facilities. LD 559 would help us take a major step in the right direction by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to notify parents and legal guardians of any complaints being lodged against the facility or provider, the department’s investigation and of the nature of the complaint. Notification must be sent within 5 days of the department’s commencement of the investigation.
A recent investigation into a Lyman daycare uncovered a long list of rule violations that shocked residents in that area. Sunshine daycare was accused of hitting and slapping children, withholding food and rest as punishment and force-feeding children and restraining them.
As a result of Rep. Gerrish’s bill, the Department of Health and Human Services recently started posting deficiency reports for daycare providers on their website. This is a step in the right direction and provides critical information to parents. LD 559 would continue moving Maine in the right direction.
“Nothing is more important to parents than the welfare of their kids,” said Rep. Gerrish. “Parents who are shopping for a daycare facility should be able to quickly determine whether there have been issues at a particular facility in the past. This is the epitome of common sense legislation.”
Karen Gerrish represents District 20 which includes Acton, Lebanon and part of Shapleigh. She currently serves on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.