Democrat sets sights on non-registered in-home daycares

Daddy DaycareBy Bob Eschliman


An Iowa House Democrat is going after in-home daycares that are not registered, nor are they required to, by the state.

State Rep. Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) offered two bills in the House this week intended to increase the pressure on small in-home daycares. House File 294 would prevent them receiving any future increases in reimbursement from the state childcare assistance program, while House File 295 would require background checks performed on every member of the household where an in-home daycare is operating.

Iowa Code does not require in-home daycares with five or fewer children to be registered with the Iowa Department of Human Services.

HF 294 requires the IDHS to set child care provider reimbursement rates under the Child Care Assistance Program based on the rate reimbursement survey completed in December 2014. Those rates are to be set “in a manner so as to provide incentives for a non-registered provider to become registered” by on applying the rate increase to registered and licensed child care providers.

HF 295 provides that anyone who resides, or will reside, in a home where an unregistered in-home daycare is operated and that does not receive public funding for providing child care “shall be subject to a record check.” Those record checks must be performed at the expense of the in-home daycare provider, not the IDHS.

“Under Code section 237A.5, the department is required to conduct a criminal and child abuse record check in this state for a person who is subject to a record check under Code chapter 237A and may conduct such a check in other states,” the bill’s explanatory statement says. “In addition, the department may conduct a dependent adult abuse, sex offender registry, or other public or civil offense record check in this state or in other states for a person who is subject to a record check.”

HF 295 also requires the collection of fingerprints to be provided to the Iowa Department of Public Safety for a state criminal history check, and to the FBI for a national criminal history check.