Nebraska Child Care Providers Say Proposed Rules Could Limit Spaces, Increase Costs | Regional government
As proposed, the youngest children, aged 6 weeks to 18 months, would be limited to eight per group or per room. The limits increase with the age of the children, up to 30 years for children of school age. Group size limits would be in addition to existing regulations that specify staff-to-child ratios and the amount of space that must be provided per child.
Thibodeau estimated that the group’s limits would force her to abandon 10 of the 170 children now enrolled in his center, which cares for infants up to the age of 5. .
During a hearing on the draft regulation, a group of providers estimated that prices should be increased by 20 to 30% to compensate for the loss of income. They presented testimony that the regulations would make it harder for families and child care providers, most of whom are women, as they continue to recover from the limits of the pandemic in child care. ‘children.
“These proposed regulations would set women back even further, forcing more parents, and possibly mothers, to quit their jobs because childcare services are not available,” the group said. “This is negatively affecting Nebraska’s economy and its ability to sustain and retain thriving businesses and talent.”
In a statement, HHS said federal law requires the state to set age-based group limits for child care programs. Although the Child Care and Development Block Grants Act does not specify what the limits should be, HHS said standards are determined based on best practices for each state.