This legislation prevents daycare and other childcare centers from being sited near known environmental hazards. It also enacts construction and design requirements to improve air quality and safety in childcare centers.
Every child deserves a safe and healthy environment in which to learn and grow. Currently, there is no law preventing the establishment of a daycare center near an existing hazardous site that could pose environmental risks, such as industrial facilities and landfills. This legislation also concerns the interior safety of care facilities, requiring that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems must meet current industry standards, up-to-date pest control practices, and construction techniques to eliminate radon exposure.
Because of their lower body weight and fast metabolism, developing children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic chemical exposure. Parents deserve to have peace of mind when children are dropped off at daycare that the air they breathe isn’t making them sick, and this bill provides oversight over providers through the licensing system, and ensures the free and open exchange of information between regulatory agencies.
This bill amends the Social Services Law to prohibit the renewal of childcare center licenses, as well as the granting of new licenses, if the care facility is located near an existing and known environmental hazard. The bill also amends the Environmental Conservation Law and the Public Health Law to require the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health to provide the necessary information to the Office of Children and Family Services to carry out the legislation.