Day Care Issues
This page was last updated on August 30, 2016.
2016 Daycare Issues
During the 2016 legislative session, the Senate responded to increased calls for repeal or further regulation of Virginia's licensure exemptions by passing a bill calling for a study of all exemptions from child care licensure. ODACS was named in the bill as a stakeholder that must be consulted.
One of the arguments central to ODACS's defense of the Religious Exemption is that a child in a Religious Exempt Child Day Center is statistically much safer than a child in a licensed center.
The licensure exemption portion of Virginia's Code includes three important sections.
2015 Daycare Issues
HB 1570 - Increased State and Federal Regulation of Virginia Daycares
Among the many provisions of HB 1570 were those ostensibly to improve child safety in religious exempt (church-operated) daycares. ODACS opposed these provisions successfully; the General Assembly removed them from the bill, and it then passed. The governor has amended the bill to include provisions that essentially replace and expand the provisions with which ODACS was originally concerned. ODACS OPPOSES THE GOVERNOR'S AMENDMENTS
Other Helpful Links
Department of Education Another "Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge"
White House Issues "Plan for Early Education for All Americans"
In an effort to expand federal influence and power over America's preschools, the White House has issued its Plan for Early Education for All Americans. Initial funding for the plan would involve a federal-state partnership, but the plan would eventually become an unfunded mandate on states. The Administration seeks to dramatically increase the number of children in government funded preschool programs. Elements of the plan include preschool standards of learning, government data collection on each child, a "rigorous curriculum," and federally-funded home visits. ODACS OPPOSES FEDERAL INTERVENTION IN AMERICA'S PRESCHOOLS.
Issues from Previous Years
Should Religiously Exempt Day Care Centers Be Represented on the Board of Social Services?
In 2010 Governor Bob McDonnell formed a Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring. The purpose of the Commission was to find ways to streamline state government in the face of current budgetary challenges. The Commission advised the governor regarding government functions that could be consolidated or eliminated altogether in order to make government more efficient.
ODACS supported the work that Governor McDonnell and the Commission did and agreed that government must be made smaller and more efficient. One particular recommendation of the Commission, however, was of important concern to ODACS - the elimination of the Virginia Child Day Care Council. For a number of years, this Council had written regulations to which Virginia's day care centers, both those licensed and those operating under a religious exemption from licensure, must adhere. The Commission recommended that the function of the Child Day Care Council be transferred to the Board of Social Services.
ODACS asked the Governor and the General Assembly to create two new seats on the Board of Social Services, one representing licensed day care centers and one representing religiously exempt day care centers. Creating a new seat for religiously exempt centers was critical to our efforts to preserve our religious liberty through the religious exemption from licensure.
Both the Senate and the House of Delegates passed amendments to the administrations bills creating the two new seats.
Virginia Declines Federal Pre-K Funding
October 29, 2011
Governor Bob McDonnell announced recently that Virginia will not apply for $60 million in federal Pre-K funding under the latest round of Race to the Top competitive grants. This third round of competitive grants offered by the U. S. Department of Education to the states represents an attempt by the federal government to gain a large measure of control over all preschool programs in the country, including church day cares. Please thank Governor McDonnell for his decision, and express to members of the Virgnia State Board of Education your support of the decision! Use these helpful links to learn more.
The following link is to the 1988 decision of the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals regarding the consitutionality of a Virginia law allowing church day cares to operate without a license from the state. ODACS was very much involved in the case, since several ODACS ministries were listed as defendants.