Senate Bill No. 538
(By Senators Plymale, Stollings, Jenkins and Foster)
[Introduced February 8, 2012; referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §49-2E-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to removing the requirement that program standards for registered family child care homes and all licensed programs be included as part of the rule to implement a quality rating and improvement system and requiring instead that the secretary establish and maintain these standards.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §49-2E-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2E. QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM.
§49-2E-2. Creation of statewide quality rating system; legislative rule required; minimum provisions.
(a) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement a quality rating and improvement system. The quality rating and improvement system shall be applicable to licensed child care centers and facilities and registered family child care homes. If other types of child care settings, such as school-age child care programs, become licensed after the implementation of a statewide quality rating and improvement system, the secretary may develop quality criteria and incentives that will allow the other types of child care settings to participate in the quality rating and improvement system. The rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) A four-star rating system for registered family child care homes and a four-star rating system for all licensed programs, including family child care facilities and child care centers, to easily communicate to consumers four progressively higher levels of quality child care. One star indicating indicates meeting the minimum acceptable standard and four stars indicating indicate meeting or exceeding the highest standard. The system shall reflect the cumulative attainment of the standards at each level and all lesser levels. Provided, That any A program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children or the National Association for Family Child Care, as applicable, shall automatically be awarded four-star status;
(2) A requirement that the secretary establish and maintain program standards for registered family child care homes and program standards for all licensed programs, including family child care facilities and child care centers. that are Each set of standards shall be divided into four levels of attributes that progressively improve the quality of child care beginning with basic state registration and licensing requirements at level one through achievement of a national accreditation by the appropriate organization at level four. Participation beyond the first level is voluntary. The program standards shall be categorized using the West Virginia State Training and Registry System Core Knowledge Areas or its equivalent;
(3) Accountability measures that provide for a fair, valid, accurate and reliable assessment of compliance with quality standards, including, but not limited to:
(A) Evaluations conducted by trained evaluators with appropriate early childhood education and training on the selected assessment tool and with a demonstrated inter-rater reliability of eighty-five percent or higher. The evaluations shall include an on-site inspection conducted at least annually to determine whether programs are rated correctly and continue to meet the appropriate standards. The evaluations and observations shall be conducted on at least a statistically valid percentage of center classrooms, with a minimum of one class per age group;
(B) The use of valid and reliable observation and assessment tools, such as environmental rating scales for early childhood, infant and toddler, school-age care and family child care as appropriate for the particular setting and age group;
(C) An annual self-assessment using the proper observation and assessment tool for programs rated at two stars; and
(D) Model program improvement planning shall be designed to help programs improve their evaluation results and level of program quality.
(b) The rules required pursuant to this section shall include policies relating to the review, reduction, suspension or disqualification of child care programs from the quality rating and improvement system.
(c) The rules shall provide for implementation of the statewide quality rating system effective July 1, 2011, subject to section four of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to remove the requirement that program standards for registered family child care homes and all licensed programs be included as part of the rule to implement the quality rating and improvement system and require, instead, that the secretary establish and maintain these standards.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.