1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Read
House Bill 1428
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW CODE SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 43-20-18, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE CHILD CARE FACILITIES TO ADOPT WRITTEN POLICIES PRESCRIBING THE PROCEDURES THAT SUCH FACILITIES WILL FOLLOW IN NOTIFYING THE PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS OF CHILDREN IN THE FACILITIES' CARE AND IN IDENTIFYING THOSE PERSONS WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CARE AND SUPERVISION OF THE CHILDREN WHENEVER ANY SUCH FACILITY, AS A RESULT OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, EMERGENCY OR ANY OTHER REASON, CLOSES EARLIER THAN ITS REGULAR BUSINESS CLOSING TIME; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-14, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE LICENSE OF ANY CHILD CARE FACILITY THAT FAILS TO ADOPT SUCH POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MAY BE SUSPENDED, REVOKED OR RESTRICTED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 43-20-18, Mississippi Code of 1972:
43-20-18. (1) Each child care facility required to be licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall adopt written policies prescribing the procedures that the facility will follow in notifying the parents or legal guardians of a child in the facility's care and in identifying those persons who will be responsible for the care and supervision of a child whenever the facility, as a result of inclement weather, emergency or any other reason, closes earlier than its regular business closing time.
(2) A copy of the policies adopted under subsection (1) of this section shall be provided by each child care facility to the Mississippi Department of Health and, at the time that the facility contracts or enters into agreement with a parent or legal guardian to provide care, to the parent or legal guardian of the child in the facility's care. In addition, each child care facility shall post such policies in a conspicuous place at its place of business.
SECTION 2. Section 43-20-14, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-14. (1) The licensing agency may deny a license or refuse to renew a license for any of the reasons set forth in subsection (3) or subsection (4) of this section.
(2) Before the licensing agency may deny or refuse to renew, any applicant affected by such decision of the licensing agency shall be entitled to a hearing in which the applicant may show cause why the license should not be denied or should be renewed.
(3) The licensing agency may suspend, revoke or restrict the license of any facility where the licensee or applicant for license has been guilty of conduct which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health or safety of the children entrusted to or cared for by such facility. Such conduct shall be defined as:
(a) Obtaining a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
(b) Being convicted of a crime in any court of the State of Mississippi or any federal court if the acts for which he is convicted are found by the licensing agency to have a direct and detrimental effect on the children entrusted to or cared for by such licensee;
(c) Violating any of the regulations governing the licensing and regulation of child care facilities promulgated by the licensing agency; and
(d) Any conduct, or failure to act, which threatens the health, safety or well-being of children at the facility.
(4) The licensing agency may suspend, revoke or restrict the license of any facility that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 43-20-18.
(5) Before the licensing agency may suspend, revoke or restrict the license of any facility, any licensee affected by such decision of the licensing agency shall be entitled to a hearing in which the licensee may show cause why the license should not be suspended, revoked or restricted.
(6) Any licensee who disagrees with or is aggrieved by a decision of the Mississippi State Department of Health in regard to the suspension, revocation or restriction of such license, may appeal, with supersedeas, to the chancery court of the county in which such facility is located. Such appeal shall be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the licensee receives written notice of the final administrative action by the Mississippi State Department of Health as to the suspension, revocation or restriction of the license of such licensee. The hearing shall be de novo. The licensee shall have the burden of proving that the decision of the Mississippi State Department of Health was not in accordance with applicable law and regulations issued thereunder.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.