(NASHVILLE, TN) — State Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) today urged local “Parents’ Day Out Program” administrators to participate in a survey conducted by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS). Massey said the survey is needed to help the Department gather information as they seek to alleviate any burdens placed on the programs as a result of a recent Attorney General opinion regarding Tennessee’s child care laws. Parents’ Day Out are child care programs for pre-kindergarten children generally operated by churches.
“The Department of Human Services is looking for a resolution to mitigate any burden or hardships that has been caused by the transition in the aftermath of the decision,” said Senator Massey. “The responses of the Parents’ Day Out Programs will assist in determining the possible options that are available to find a resolution. It is important that program administrators fill out the online survey which will be attached to the DHS website for two weeks beginning August 17.”
The Attorney General opinion said a church may not operate a Parents’ Day Out program for more than two days in a calendar week (and for not more than six hours each day) without a license, even if no individual child enrolled attends for more than two days in the same calendar week. It also said the church organization cannot have multiple Parents’ Day Out programs operating at the same church facility on different calendar days and still qualify for the exemption. TDHS took steps to comply with the law after the opinion was delivered.
“I have talked with many church program officials who are concerned about this matter,” added Senator Massey. “It is important that we find a solution to help them. This is a first step in that effort.”
Reference/ Attorney General Opinion: http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/op/2012/op12.48.pdf