1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Furniss
Senate Bill 2546
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT STUDENTS WHO ARE AT LICENSED CHILD CARE FACILITIES FOR FOUR OR FEWER HOURS A DAY SHALL NOT BE COUNTED AS CHILDREN AT THOSE FACILITIES FOR ANY PURPOSE UNDER THE LICENSURE LAW; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH EXEMPTION SHALL BE ALLOWED ONLY IF THE FACILITY PROVIDES CARE TO FEWER THAN 15 OF THOSE CHILDREN; TO PROVIDE THAT NOTHING SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO EXEMPT FROM LICENSURE OR OTHER STANDARDS ANY FACILITY THAT PROVIDES CARE SOLELY TO THOSE CHILDREN; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. 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. However, any child under thirteen (13) years of age who is a student at an elementary or secondary school and who regularly receives shelter and personal care at a child care facility licensed under this chapter for four (4) or fewer hours during the 24-hour day shall not be counted as a child at the facility for any purpose under this chapter or any rule, regulation or standard promulgated by the licensing agency pursuant to this chapter. The exemption from counting such children provided by the preceding sentence shall be allowed only if the number of such children regularly receiving shelter and personal care at the facility is fewer than fifteen (15) children, and nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed to exempt from licensure, or any rule, regulation or standard of the licensing agency, any facility otherwise subject to licensure under this chapter that provides shelter and personal care solely to elementary and secondary school students for four (4) or fewer hours during the 24-hour day. 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. 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, are exempt. Also exempted from this chapter is any child residential home as defined in, and in compliance with the provisions of, Section 43-16-3(b) et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972. Also exempted from this chapter is 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 and 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. Also exempted is 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. 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.
(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.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.