A recent tragedy involving the death of a 4-month-old child- who was left for several hours alone inside a child care transportation van (read more about this devastating event here)- has brought increased attention to a recently drafted bill. The “Day Care Van Alarm Bill (AB 176/SB 141),” as it has been referred to, was passed on to the Senate’s committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development and to the Assembly’s committee on Children and Families. The chairs of these committees have announced that they will be holding a joint public hearing to discuss the bill on April 22nd at 1:30 PM in the Capitol Room 417 North (GAR Hall).
AB 176/SB 141 was introduced into both branches of the legislature at the end of March. With 23 co-sponsors, the bill would require that an additional safety feature be installed into certain child care vehicles. At present, DCF licensing rules prohibit children from being left unattended in a child care vehicle. This bill would mandate that a child safety alarm, which would be placed in the rear of the vehicle and serve as a reminder to check for children before exiting, be installed into any child care vehicle that can seat 6 or more passengers in addition to the driver. Under this bill a child care vehicle is one that is either owned or leased by a child care provider and is used to bring children to and from child care. You can read the full text of the bill here.