Representative Young, bill sponsor, introduced and gave opening comments on SB21-201. The bill makes several changes to requirements and penalties for child care facilities that are required to be licensed or that are exempt from licensure by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and county departments of human or socials services, as outlined below.
Public information. The bill requires the DHS to publicly post the name and location of any child care provider who is operating without a valid license exemption, and has one or more cease-and-desist orders issued against it. If more than one cease-and-desist order has been issued, DHS must post the total number of such orders. All of this information must be accessible and prominent on the department’s child care provider website on or before July 1, 2021, and ongoing thereafter, in a manner that conforms to the requirements for website posting set forth in the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. This act requires information regarding eligible child care providers to be made available by electronic means that is consumer-friendly in an easily accessible format, organized by provider.
Injunctive relief. The bill requires the DHS to apply for an injunction if a child care facility is operating without a license or valid license exemption, has a pattern of providing child care in violation of licensing requirements, and has continued to provide care despite notification from the DHS that they are violating the law. At the time that the DHS applies for an injunction, it must notify law enforcement about the injunction proceedings. If a provider violates an injunction issued by the courts, the bill allows them to be tried and punished for contempt of court.
Criminal offenses. The bill makes it a petty offense for operators of a child care facility to not address a violation resulting in a cease-and-desist order within the allotted period given by the DHS or county departments. This offense may result in a fine of up to $500 or a sentence of up to 10 days in jail, or both. It also reclassifies existing misdemeanor offenses for violating family child care license provisions or making a false statement or report to the department as a petty offense. These offenses are subject to the penalties listed above, rather than a fine only of between $300 and $500 as under current law.
Civil penalties. The bill revises and increases penalties and fines for child care facility operators to $250 a day for first offense, $500 a day for second offense, and $1,000 a day for subsequent offenses, up from $150 a day under current law. The maximum combined penalty remains $10,000 as under current law.
CCCAP eligibility. The bill clarifies that family child care home providers are not eligible for issuance or renewal of Colorado Child Care Assistance Program contracts if they have demonstrated a pattern of petty offense convictions within the past ten years.