TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – New legislation in Kansas could result in several changes to state law on day care homes and child care centers.

Earlier this month, Sen. Chase Blasi introduced Senate Bill 282 to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. Currently, language in the bill would lead to significant changes to child care licensing regulations in the Sunflower State. Among these proposed changes are the elimination of certain license fees and training requirements and allowing 16-year-old workers to staff a unit with children at least 12 months old without supervision.

The bill states that program directors need only be 18 years old with training requirements determined by the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The requirements for the director vary depending on how many children are in a child care center. For example, if a center has fewer than 13 children enrolled, the director need only have the following:

  • Three months of teaching experience in a licensed day care facility
  • Five sessions of observation (12.5 hours) in a licensed day care facility and 10 hours of workshops approved by the state licensing staff
  • Three semester hours of academic credit from a postsecondary educational institution or equivalent training in childhood development
  • A child development associate credential

Further language in the bill states a unit may be permitted to have a 14-year-old staff member present when all children under its care are at least 12 months old. This staff member would need to be under the direct supervision of an individual designated as a group leader.

The bill would also authorize the KDHE secretary to develop and operate pilot programs to increase day care facility availability and capacity.

SB 282 was referred to the Committee on Commerce on March 2 and is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, March 8, at 10:30 a.m. in the Kansas Statehouse.