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Bill Focuses on Child Care Safety

Legislation (H.R. 4519) to require safety information for parents using federal child care facilities received voice vote approval in the House on September 26.

The bill would require the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of child care facilities in federal buildings, to inform parents about the departments and agencies located in the same building as a child care center. It would require disclosure regarding the building’s security level, as well as an inspection of interior furnishings and windows with an eye toward preventing injury in case of natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Sponsored by Rep. Bob Franks (R-NJ), the measure is called “Baylee’s Law” in honor of a one-year-old girl killed in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, where she was enrolled in a child care center. During floor debate, Rep. Franks said the girl’s mother “had no idea that the building that provided day care services for her child housed a variety of federal agencies that are often the target of terrorist threats, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as the FBI.”

Offering support for the bill, Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) described its reach, saying, “Approximately 7,000 youngsters, ranging in age from infancy to 5 years old, are enrolled in GSA child care centers located in 113 federal facilities across the country.”

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