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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 5, 2019 12:21 PM
From: Representative Barry J. Jozwiak and Rep. Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Municipal Recreation Programs
In the very near future, we plan to introduce legislation to protect municipal recreation programs and the vital opportunities they provide to our Commonwealth’s children and their parents. Municipalities across the state provide these programs, often on a seasonal basis.

Unfortunately, an unreasonable interpretation of the law by the Department of Human Services is threatening recreation programs for preschool-aged children. The Department has been sending letters informing municipalities that they are running “child day care centers,” and telling them that they must go through the onerous and expensive process of becoming licensed or terminate their programs. As a result of these “cease and desist” letters, municipalities are doing just that, at the expense of the children they strove to serve.

Often, certification isn’t even an option; many municipal programs, such as swimming or playground programs, take place beyond the confines of a traditional child day care “facility,” making it prohibitively costly or even impossible to be certified as a day care facility. Moreover, municipal recreation programs are already subject to strict oversight, personnel training requirements, parental consent and background checks for employees and volunteers.

Our bill will simply amend the Human Services Code to make it clear what should already be obvious: that public municipal recreation programs are not included in the definition of “child day care center.” Please join us in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1831