St. Louis Public Radio News
8:24 am
Fri August 28, 2009

State drops rules for church-run day care centers

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri health officials are proposing to relax many of the health and safety requirements for hundreds of church-run child care centers.

The regulations have been in place for 14 years. But state health officials said Thursday they have no legal authority to enforce them, and their vote to repeal was reluctant.

State child care regulators say they'll push lawmakers to give them oversight authority when the legislature reconvenes.

Among the regulations proposed to be repealed are ones prohibiting caregivers from being drunk or on drugs, or posing a threat to children's safety.

The rule changes would apply only to 590 child care centers that already are exempt from state licensure.

Most of those facilities are run by religious organizations. The rule changes do not affect Missouri's more than 4,300 licensed day care centers.