Alabama lawmakers vote to give oversight over faith-based daycares

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Alabama lawmakers have voted to give the state limited oversight over faith-based daycares.

The Alabama Senate voted 22-4 on Thursday for the compromise legislation.

Gov. Kay Ivey’s press office said she will review the bill before making a decision on signing it into law.

Alabama has long exempted daycares that claim a religious affiliation from the requirement to get a state license and standards such as required child-to-worker ratios. Nearly half of the daycare centers in the state are unlicensed.

The bill requires faith-based day cares that receive any state or federal funds to get licensed by the state.

It would also require exempt centers to submit proof of fire and safety inspections and background checks on workers.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, the bill’s sponsor, praised the passage as a significant step forward for child safety.