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Governor signs bill regulating in-home day cares

On July 11, Gov. Mike Parson signed a child protection bill [HB 397] that included “Nathan’s Law.”

Sponsored by Sen. Jill Schupp [D-Creve Coeur] and named after Nathan Blecha, “Nathan’s Law” seeks to protect and strengthen the safety of young children receiving care and education in unlicensed, in-home child care providers.

Current law in Missouri allows an unlicensed, in-home child care provider to care for four or fewer unrelated children in addition to an unlimited number of related children up to the third degree.

Blecha died from suffocation in 2007 at a Jefferson County in-home daycare serving 10 children.

Beginning Aug. 28, in-home child care providers will be limited to caring for no more than six children total with no more than three under the age of 2.

The legislation also increases the criminal penalties for those who violate the child care licensure statutes and creates a civil penalty enforceable by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

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