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Relating to the regulation of listed family homes.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 569, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($1,309,025) through the biennium ending August 31, 2021. The Health and Human Services Commission is required to implement a provision of this bill only if the Legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the Legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the Health and Human Services Commission may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this bill using other appropriations available for that purpose. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
SB 569 would amend multiple sections of Human Resources Code to: (1) establish new minimum standards for listed family homes; (2) require inspections of listed family homes at least once every three years; (3) require listed family homes to post relevant inspection information for a minimum of five years; (4) require an applicant to operate a listed family home to complete safe sleep training; (5) require listed family homes to maintain liability insurance coverage, with certain exceptions; and (6) require listed family homes to undergo initial and subsequent background and criminal history checks.
There are several categories of regulated in home daycare in Texas. Listed family homes are under the lightest regulation and, in turn, are able to provide care for fewer children than the more heavily registered or licensed in home daycare operations. Being the least regulated does not mean these child care providers are not regulated at all. To the contrary, listed homes must comply with age restrictions, may only care for up to three unrelated children at a time, must submit to a fingerprint-based FBI background check, pay an annual fee, and comply with certain Department of Family and Protective Services notice requirements.
Furthermore, any public advertisement made by a listed family home must include in bold type the following notice: "THIS HOME IS A LISTED FAMILY HOME. IT IS NOT LICENSED OR REGISTERED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES. IT HAS NOT BEEN INSPECTED AND WILL NOT BE INSPECTED."
With this background in mind we note that parents have numerous options when it comes to choosing daycare for their children. They may choose a registered or a fully licensed in home daycare or an out of home daycare facility. Each of these options includes more regulations, more state oversight, and are generally more costly than care provided at a listed family home.
Parents are able to take many factors into consideration, including whether they would like to place their child in care that is less regulated but also less expensive. The purpose of requiring licensed family homes to give notice that they are not registered or inspected is to ensure that parents take these factors into consideration when choosing a a childcare provider.
SB 569 would add new regulations to listed family homes which will increase the cost of compliance, increase the size, scope, and cost of government, and result in further driving up the already high cost of child care. Parents should evaluate the options and decide what tradeoffs they are willing to make and take responsibility for those choices. For these reasons we oppose SB 569.