State lawmakers seek to raise child care standards

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A legislative committee is recommending using financial incentives to encourage child care facilities to meet minimum standards and to encourage parents to send their children to accredited facilities.

There has been an ongoing debate on whether child care facilities associated with ministries should have to meet the same standards as licensed providers. In the past, attempts to raise standards for ministry-affiliated facilities have failed, primarily because of concerns it could blur the line between separation of church and state.

But Republican Senator Travis Holdman of Markle, chairman of the interim Committee on Child Care, is recommending new laws that would focus on requiring facilities that receive federal money to meet the same standards. He's also proposing giving tax credits to parents who put their children in high-quality facilities.

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