1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Bean
Senate Bill 2862
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 43-20-5 AND 43-20-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT FROM THE CHILD CARE LICENSURE LAW ANY CHILD CARE FACILITY MAINTAINED OR OPERATED UNDER THE EXCLUSIVE CONTROL OF A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; 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 twenty-four-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. 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. Also exempt from this chapter is any child care facility maintained or operated under the exclusive control of a religious organization, provided such exempt facility must comply with applicable reasonable fire, safety and health codes and regulations. This section shall never be construed so as to grant, by implication or otherwise, any right or authority to any state agency or other entity to control, manage, supervise, provide for or affect the operation, management, selection of personnel, program, curriculum, admissions policy or discipline of any such exempt child care facility. 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.
(h) "Religious organization" means a church, synagogue or mosque; an entity that has or would qualify for federal tax exempt status as a nonprofit religious organization under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue code; or an entity whose real estate on which the child care facility is located is exempt from taxation because it is used for religious purposes.
SECTION 2. Section 43-20-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-9. From and after August 1, 1972, no person acting individually or jointly with another person or persons shall establish, own, operate, conduct or maintain a child care facility in this state without a license issued under this chapter. However, this requirement shall not be construed to apply to any child day care facility owned or operated by a religious organization as defined under Section 43-20-5(h) of this chapter.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.