Tenn. State Rep. Bryan Terry, MD (R-Murfreesboro), on March 31 passed House Bill 2559 which will help with accommodations for child care during a normal workday. The bill extends from seven hours to nine hours the amount of time a child may stay at a drop-in child care center. State Sen. Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) sponsored the companion bill in the Senate.
“Whether it is a single parent or a family looking to have the second parent help provide a two-income household, finding child care to assist in that endeavor is often a daunting task,” stated Terry. “We found where our Tennessee law limited child care in a drop-in center to seven hours during a business day or 14 hours total during the business week. That law severely restricted the opportunity for parents to work an average eight-hour workday. By extending it to nine hours, that at least gives the parent the time to work an average day and commute to the drop-in center.”
There are different types of child care centers in Tennessee, including a traditional daycare, a drop-in center, and casual care providers. Each type of child care facility carries with it certain limitations and regulations. A drop-in center is allowed to watch a child for up to 20 hours during a week and has a limit on the number of children that can be watched at one time.
“For those families looking for extra shifts or work opportunities, or for parents on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) looking to improve their situation, this bill helps in those situations,” said Terry. “Last year, I passed the TANF Opportunity Act, which provides our Tennesseans who are the most in need with a pathway to prosperity. We will continue to look for barriers and remove those roadblocks from the pathway.”
The bill had bipartisan support and has passed through both the House and Senate chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly. It is headed to Gov. Bill Lee to be signed into law. For more about House Bill 2559, visit here.