May 4, 2017 Published in From Richmond

McAuliffe Vetoes Bill Rolling Back Health And Safety Standards At Certain Child Day Centers

Governor Terry McAuliffe today vetoed legislation that would have reversed efforts to provide safe, quality out-of-home childcare for Virginians. The Governor’s full veto statement is below:

May 4, 2017

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1239. This bill would repeal the requirements that more than 1,000 child day centers must comply with in order to be exempt from licensure.

Parents across the Commonwealth rely on child day centers to care for their infants and toddlers, and they deserve to know that their children are safe.

I appreciate that a great deal of bi-partisan collaboration occurred over the past year to strengthen the safety and well-being of children in exempt out-of-home care. However, Senate Bill 1239 would negate years of effort to provide safe and quality care to Virginia’s children by eliminating staff-child ratios and supervision, procedures for ensuring that centers are free of injury hazards, and requirements that staff can recognize signs of child abuse/neglect at certain child day centers. Further, Senate Bill 1239 would remove the Commissioner of Social Services’ ability to revoke child day centers’ exemptions for serious or persistent violations.

I have directed the Commissioner of Social Services to continue the momentum by pursuing administrative actions to ensure all children are safely cared for regardless of the type of child day center they attend.

Accordingly, I veto these bills.


Terence R. McAuliffe

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