1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Moody
House Bill 1032
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-16-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CHILD RESIDENTIAL HOMES TO FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY, FOR PURPOSES OF CHILD CARE FACILITY LICENSURE, THE EXEMPTION OF FAMILY CHILD CARE HOMES; TO EXPAND THE DEFINITION OF A CHILD CARE FACILITY OPERATOR; TO ADD THE DEFINITION OF A CAREGIVER; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO RECONSTITUTE THE CHILD CARE ADVISORY COUNCIL; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-8, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY, FOR PURPOSES OF CHILD CARE FACILITY LICENSURE, REQUIREMENTS FOR FELONY CONVICTION RECORDS AND TO DELETE FINGERPRINTING REQUIREMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO SUBSTITUTE STATE FIRE MARSHAL IN PLACE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CONDUCTING FIRE SAFETY INSPECTIONS IN CHILD CARE FACILITIES; TO CONFORM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CHILD CARE FACILITIES TO FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELETE REFERENCES TO CHILD CARE FACILITY LICENSURE FEES BEING CHARGED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-14, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS AND BACKGROUND CHECK PROCEDURES RELATING TO CHILD CARE FACILITY LICENSEES; TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT AGENCY APPELLATE ACTIONS SHALL BE WITH SUPERSEDEAS; TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE HEARING ON AN AGENCY APPEAL SHALL BE DE NOVO; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW AGGREGATE CHILD CARE FACILITY INFORMATION TO BE RELEASED THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE DEFINITION OF A FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME; TO AMEND SECTION 75-74-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO RECONSTITUTE THE YOUTH CAMP ADVISORY COUNCIL; TO REPEAL SECTION 75-74-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES FOR A WAIVER OF COMPLIANCE WITH YOUTH CAMP RULES AND REGULATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-16-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-16-11. (1) Acknowledgement of notification shall be issued by the department upon the filing of a properly completed notification form accompanied by (a) a certificate of inspection and approval by the fire department of the municipality or other political subdivision in which the home is located, and (b) a certificate of inspection and approval by the health department of the county in which the home is located.
(2) If no fire department exists where the home is located, the State Fire Marshal shall certify as to the inspection for safety from fire hazards. The State Fire Marshal shall establish standards for safety from fire hazards at child residential homes. Those standards shall be in conformance with the applicable chapters of the National Fire Protection Association 101 Life Safety Code Handbook.
(3) Upon notification by a child residential home, the department shall provide copies of the notification form to the chancery court or the youth court, as appropriate, of the county in which the home is located.
SECTION 2. Section 43-20-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-5. When used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Child care facility" means a place which provides shelter and personal care for six (6) or more children who are not related within the third degree computed according to the civil law to the operator and who are under thirteen (13) years of age, for any part of the 24-hour day, whether such place be organized or operated for profit or not. The term "child care facility" includes day nurseries, day care centers and any other facility that falls within the scope of the definitions set forth above, regardless of auspices. The following shall be exempt from this chapter:
(i) Child care facilities which operate for no more than two (2) days a week, whose primary purpose is to provide respite for the caregiver or temporary care during other scheduled or related activities and organized programs which operate for three (3) or less weeks per year such as, but not limited to, vacation bible schools and scout day camps * * * .
(ii) Any child residential home as defined in, and in compliance with the provisions of, Section 43-16-3(b) et seq. * * * .
(iii) Any elementary, including kindergarten, and/or secondary school system, accredited by the Mississippi State Department of Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or the Mississippi Private School Education Association. * * *
(iv) Any Headstart program operating in conjunction with an elementary school system, whether it be public, private or parochial, whose primary purpose is a structured school or school readiness program. * * *
(v) Any membership organization affiliated with a national organization which charges only a nominal annual membership fee, does not receive monthly, weekly or daily payments for services, and is certified by its national association as being in compliance with the association's minimum standards and procedures, including, but not limited to, the Boys and Girls Club of America, and the YMCA.
(vi) Any family child care home as defined in Section 43-20-53(a) et seq.
All other preschool child care programs and/or extended day school programs must meet requirements set forth in this chapter.
(b) "Health" means that condition of being sound in mind and body and encompasses an individual's physical, mental and emotional welfare.
(c) "Safety" means that condition of being protected from hurt, injury or loss.
(d) "Person" means any person, firm, partnership, corporation or association.
(e) "Operator" means any person, acting individually or jointly with another person or persons, who shall establish, own, operate, conduct or maintain a child care facility. The child care facility license shall be issued in the name of the operator or, if there is more than one (1) operator, in the name of one (1) of the operators. If there is more than one (1) operator, all statutory and regulatory provisions concerning the background checks of operators shall be equally applied to all operators of a facility, including, but not limited to, a spouse who jointly owns, operates or maintains the child care facility regardless of which particular person is named on the license.
(f) "Personal care" means assistance rendered by personnel of the child care facility in performing one or more of the activities of daily living, which includes, but is not limited to, the feeding, personal grooming, supervising and dressing of children placed in the child care facility.
(g) "Licensing agency" means the Mississippi State Department of Health.
(h) "Caregiver" means any person who provides direct care, supervision or guidance to children in a child care facility, regardless of title or occupation.
SECTION 3. Section 43-20-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-7. (1) There is * * * created an advisory council which shall be appointed by the Executive Officer of the State Board of Health, who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive officer. The council shall consist of ten (10) persons appointed one (1) each from the following groups:
(a) Mississippi Early Childhood Association;
(b) Operator of a Headstart program;
(c) Mississippi Home Economics Association;
(d) Office for Children and Youth of the Mississippi Department of Human Services;
(e) Department of child development of a college or university located in the state;
(f) Department of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical School;
(g) Department of Education, State of Mississippi;
(h) State Fire Marshal Department;
(i) Caregiver and/or owner of a child care facility that is not a Headstart program; and
(2) It shall be the duty of the advisory council to assist and advise the licensing agency in the development of regulations governing the licensure and regulation of child care facilities.
(3) Members of the advisory council * * * shall be reimbursed for mileage and expenses as is authorized by law.
SECTION 4. Section 43-20-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-8. (1) The licensing agency shall have powers and duties as set forth below in addition to other duties prescribed under this chapter:
(a) Promulgate rules and regulations concerning the licensing and regulation of child care facilities as defined herein;
(b) Have the authority to issue, deny, suspend, revoke, restrict or otherwise take disciplinary action against licensees as provided for in this chapter;
(c) Set and collect fees and penalties as provided for in this chapter; and
(d) Have such other powers as may be required to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Child care facilities shall assure that parents have welcome access to the child care facility at all times.
(3) Child care facilities shall require that, for any prospective caregiver, current felony conviction record information is obtained and that current sex offense criminal history record information and child abuse registry checks are obtained, as provided in Section 45-31-1 et seq., and that such criminal record information and registry checks are on file for any caregiver * * * at such child care facility. * * *
(4) The licensing agency shall require to be performed a felony conviction records check, a sex offense criminal records check and a child abuse registry check for any and all operators of a child care facility and any person living in a residence used for child care. * * *
SECTION 5. Section 43-20-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-11. An application for a license under this chapter shall be made to the licensing agency upon forms provided by it, and shall contain such information as the licensing agency may reasonably require. Each application for a license shall be accompanied by a license fee not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), which shall be paid to the licensing agency. Licenses shall be granted to applicants upon the filing of properly completed application forms, accompanied by payment of the * * * license fee, and a certificate of inspection and approval by the fire department of the municipality or other political subdivision in which the facility is located, and by a certificate of inspection and approval by the health department of the county in which the facility is located, and approval by the licensing agency; except that if no fire department exists where the facility is located, the State Fire Marshal shall * * * certify as to the inspection for safety from fire hazards. The State Fire Marshal shall establish standards for safety from fire hazards at child care facilities. Those standards shall be in conformance with the applicable chapters of the National Fire Protection Association 101 Life Safety Code Handbook. The * * * county health department and licensing agency inspections and approvals shall be based upon * * * regulations promulgated by the licensing agency as approved by the State Board of Health.
Each license shall be issued only for the premises and person or persons named in the application and shall not be transferable or assignable except with the written approval of the licensing agency. Licenses shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises.
No governmental entity or agency shall be required to pay the fee or fees set forth in this section.
SECTION 6. Section 43-20-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-13. A license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be renewed * * * upon payment of a renewal fee not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per year and upon filing by the licensee of a * * * report upon such uniform dates and upon forms provided by the licensing agency, accompanied by a current certificate of inspection and approval by the fire department and the county health department specified in Section 43-20-11.
No governmental entity or agency shall be required to pay the fee or fees set forth in this section.
SECTION 7. 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) of this section.
(2) Before the licensing agency may deny or refuse to renew, the applicant or person named on the license shall be entitled to a hearing in order to 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 child care facility upon one or more of the following grounds * * *:
(a) * * * Fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
(b) Conviction of an operator for any crime if the licensing agency finds that the act or acts for which the operator was convicted could have a detrimental effect on children cared for by any child care facility;
(c) Violation of any of the provisions of this act or of the regulations governing the licensing and regulation of child care facilities promulgated by the licensing agency; * * *
(d) Any conduct, or failure to act, which is found or determined by the licensing agency to threaten the health or safety * * * of children at the facility;
(e) Failure by the child care facility to comply with the provisions of Section 43-20-8(3) regarding background checks of caregivers, or with Section 45-31-12 concerning employment of persons who have been convicted of certain offenses or have had certain actions taken against them in court; and
(f) Information received by the licensing agency as a result of the felony conviction records check, the sex offense criminal records check and the child abuse registry check on any and all operators pursuant to Section 43-20-8.
(4) 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.
(5) Any licensee who disagrees with or is aggrieved by a decision of the Mississippi State Department of Health in regard to the denial, refusal to renew, suspension, revocation or restriction of such license, may appeal * * * 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. * * *
SECTION 8. Section 43-20-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-17. Information received by the licensing agency shall not be disclosed publicly in such manner as to identify children or families of children cared for at a child care facility, except in a proceeding involving the question of licensure.
SECTION 9. Section 43-20-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-53. As used in Sections 43-20-51 through 43-20-65:
(a) "Family child care home" means any residential facility occupied by the operator where five (5) or fewer children who are not related within the third degree computed according to the civil law to the provider and who are under the age of thirteen (13) years of age are provided care for any part of the twenty-four-hour day.
(b) "Registering agency" means the Mississippi State Department of Health.
(c) "Provider" means the person responsible for the care of children.
SECTION 10. Section 75-74-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-74-9. (1) The State Board of Health shall have the authority and the duty to make and promulgate rules and regulations consistent with the policy and purpose of this chapter, and to amend any rule or regulation it makes. In developing such rules and regulations, the board shall consult with appropriate public and private officials and organizations and parents and camp operators. It shall be the duty of the board to advise all existing youth camps in this state of this chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter.
(2) There is created within the State Board of Health the advisory council on youth camp safety to advise and consult on policy matters relating to youth camp safety * * *. The council consists of the health officer or his representative * * * and a minimum of eight (8) members appointed by the State Health Officer, including the following groups: one (1) member representative each from a private nonsectarian camp, a church-related or sponsored camp, the Girl Scouts of * * * America, the Boy Scouts of America, * * * the Mississippi Camping Association, camps for the handicapped and civic organization camps; and a consumer, a parent or an older youth with prior camping experience * * *. A member is entitled to hold office for two (2) years or until his successor is appointed and qualifies. The State Health Officer or his representative shall fill vacancies for unexpired terms. Council members serve without compensation, but are entitled to be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The State Health Officer may appoint special advisory or technical experts and consultants as are necessary to assist the council in carrying out its functions.
(3) No rule or regulation promulgated or amended by the board under this chapter shall be effective until a public hearing is held thereon * * *. Notice of a public hearing, including the time, date and location of the hearing and the substance of the proposed rule, regulation or amendment, shall be given by the board to each licensee of a youth camp and the general public not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days before the hearing. Any interested person may appear at the hearing to present evidence or testimony concerning the proposed rule, regulation or amendment.
SECTION 11. Section 75-74-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for a waiver of compliance with youth camp rules and regulations, is repealed.
SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.