Governor Vilsack has signed a bill that will make more daycare providers register with the state. Anyone caring for six or more children, not counting their own, will have to undergo a criminal background check.Republican Senator Maggie Tinsman of Bettendorf wanted to include daycare homes with just four children but says this is a good start and an exciting first step to the best childcare in Iowa.Tinsman says the state already requires licensing for non-home daycare operations, but says about fifteen thousand babysitters aren’t registered. Democratic Representative Janet Peterson says that makes it tough for parents trying to find quality daycare. It’s something Peterson says she went through looking for a daycare for her son Charlie. The registration lets the state check the child-abuse registry and also allows in-home inspections, though those are rarely done. And it includes an amendment saying nobody can smoke in the home of a daycare provider during the hours children are there. Peterson says she’s glad about that amendment to safeguard kids from secondhand smoke.
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