LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Michele Hoitenga on Thursday introduced a bill to provide more options for those who need their fingerprints taken for employment at child care centers.
Currently, potential child care workers must use the services of a state-approved third-party contractor. Senate Bill 469 would allow them to be fingerprinted at a local law enforcement agency or county sheriff’s office.
“The need for parents to have access to reliable child care services continues to be a growing and important issue across our state,” said Hoitenga, R-Manton. “My legislation would ensure the integrity of systems put in place to protect children while also easing burdens placed on child care centers and workers who must obtain fingerprinting for licensure. Third-party fingerprinting contractors often have limited office hours and can be located an hour or more drive away from some of the rural communities of our state — this is especially true in Northern Michigan. Expanding this service to include our local police agencies will help our child care professionals and ultimately the parents who need them.”
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce recently reported that child care issues within the state have resulted in an estimated $2.88 billion annual loss for the Michigan economy because of missed work. In a statewide survey of parents with children under the age of six, 14% reported they had left a job in the past six months because of child care, 52% needed to make significant adjustments to work or school because of child care in the past year, and 63% said they have missed work or school at least once in the past three months because of child care.