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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=25206
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 15, 2018 01:38 PM
From: Representative Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Municipal Preschool Recreation Programs
 
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that will exclude municipal preschool recreation programs from licensure by the Department of Human Services (DHS) if these programs are certified by the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS).

Recreational and educational programs for preschool-aged children provide unique opportunities outside the role and abilities of most child care facilities. Such popular and cost-effective methods utilize the constructed recreation facilities as well as the natural features of outdoor park settings. These crucial learning and growing opportunities offer development in gross and fine motor skills, social interaction, connections to nature and healthy living, and contribute to prosperous and desirable communities.

It appears that the law, the Human Services Code, is intended to regulate facilities used in traditional “child day care centers,” but was not intended to be applied to parks and outdoor settings that have a legitimate and important recreational role for children. The wording of the law can be construed to demand the same compliance by recreation and park providers in conducting swim lessons, nature exploration, day camps, sports, and other indoor and outdoor activities for preschool children, which were not considered in the crafting of this law. As such, my legislation will amend the definition of a “child day care center” in the Human Services Code to exempt municipal-run preschool recreation programs from licensure by the DHS as long as the programs are certified by the PRPS as fully compliant with their protocol for these programs.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this sensible legislation.

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