HB 230  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0148

05/08

 

HOUSE BILL 230

 

AN ACT relative to child day care monitoring visits, requirements for child day care providers, and the appeals process for child day care providers.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. McWilliams, Merr. 27; Rep. Yokela, Rock. 33; Sen. Whitley, Dist 15

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Revises the procedure for posting results of child day care monitoring visits on the department of health and human services website and expands the licensees' opportunity to respond to the department's findings.

 

II.  Requires a child day care agency employee to obtain at least 6 hours of annual continuing education or professional development.

 

III.  Establishes minimum qualifications for certification as a child care associate teacher.

 

IV.  Permits a child day care agency to appeal the decision resulting from the informal dispute resolution process; provides that, with limited exception, the agency may operate pending appeal of the department's decision; and prohibits the department from retaliating against the child day care agency.

 

V.  Study the creation of a neutral appeals process to review violations committed by a child day care agency.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0148

05/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to child day care monitoring visits, requirements for child day care providers, and the appeals process for child day care providers.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Child Day Care Licensing; Record of Licenses and Investigatory and Monitoring Visits.  RSA 170-E:10, II and III are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

II.  Information submitted in the application process shall be private, confidential, and not available for review.  However, the license itself, the findings of investigatory and monitoring visits, and final decisions relative to licensure of the child day care agency shall be considered public information, posted on the department's website, and available for review by members of the public.  The findings of investigatory and monitoring visits and final decisions relative to licensure shall be posted on the department's website not less than 21 days from the date of the finding or decision, and shall be available on the website for a period of 3 years.  

III.  At least 15 business days before posting the results or findings of an investigatory visit, monitoring visit, or a final decision relative to licensure on the department's website, the department shall notify the child day care agency of its findings and the date on which the information shall be posted on the department's website.  The department may provide such notice by email or, if the child day care agency has not provided an email address, by United States mail.  If the child day care agency submits a response prior to the date of posting, the child day care agency's response shall also be posted on the department's website.

2  New Subparagraphs; Child Day Care Licensing; Rulemaking; Continuing Education Requirements and Associate Teacher Qualifications.  Amend RSA 170-E:11, I by inserting after subparagraph (m) the following new subparagraphs:

(n)  Requiring not more than 6 hours of annual continuing education or professional development for all personnel employed at a child day care agency licensed pursuant to this chapter.

(o) The following qualification for certification as an associate teacher: a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised child care experience in a licensed child care program and 30 hours of training in child growth and development, the latter of which may be documented life experience.

3  Child Day Care Licensees; Hearings.  Amend RSA 170-E:13, II and III to read as follows:

II.  Any applicant, licensee or permittee aggrieved by a decision of the department to suspend, revoke, deny or refuse to renew a license or permit, or aggrieved by an unfavorable decision following informal dispute resolution under RSA 170-E:10-a, may appeal to the commissioner.  For purposes of carrying out the provisions of this section, the commissioner may, in accordance with the rules adopted by the department of personnel pursuant to RSA 541-A, appoint a hearings officer or officers, as necessary, to preside over such hearings.  A hearings officer may affirm, deny or modify the decision of the department.  The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to procedures for the appeal process provided under this paragraph.  

III.  When the department decides to suspend, revoke, deny, or refuse to renew a license or permit, and it expressly finds that the continued operation of a child day care agency [violates any minimum standard prescribed by law or rule, or otherwise jeopardizes] poses a present and credible threat to the health[,] or safety[, morals or welfare] of children served by the agency, the department shall include in its order issued under paragraph I an order of closure directing that the operation of the agency terminate immediately or on the date specified.  [In this event, the agency shall not] Unless the department has ordered the agency to terminate immediately, the agency shall be permitted to operate during the pendency of any proceeding for the review of the decision of the department[, except under court order].  Notwithstanding the above, the agency shall retain the right to seek injunctive relief in accordance with RSA 170-E:22.

4  New Section; Child Day Care Licensing; Retaliation Prohibited.  Amend RSA 170-E by inserting after section 8 the following new section:

170-E:8-a  Retaliation Prohibited.  The department shall not retaliate against an applicant, licensee, or permittee for any reason.  Any applicant, licensee, or permittee who believes that the department's actions regarding licensure or permit status, or the findings of a monitoring visit, were retaliatory in nature may request a hearing under RSA 170-E:12, II or informal dispute resolution under RSA 170-E:10-a.  

5  Committee Established.  

I.  There is established a committee to study the creation of a neutral appeals process to review violations committed by a child day care agency.

II.  The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b)  One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

III.  Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.

IV.  The committee shall study the creation of a neutral appeals process to review violations committed by a child day care agency.

V.  The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member.  The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Four members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

VI.  The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2021.

6  Effective Date.

I.  Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

II.  Sections 3 and 4 of this act  shall take effect January 1, 2022.

III.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

Statutes affected:
Introduced: 170-E:11, 170-E:13
latest version: 170-E:11, 170-E:13