P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2007
AUSTIN -- In response to reports of rampant fraud in a federal day care assistance program, Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today filed legislation calling for fingerprinting and background checks to reduce abuse in the system.
"There is no excuse for putting taxpayer dollars in the hands of convicted criminals, especially for the purpose of child care. This bill closes the door to unsuitable providers so that the funding truly benefits the individuals for whom it was intended -- single parents eligible for day care assistance in order to remain in the work force," Senator Nelson said.
SB 206 by Senator Nelson requires that any relative who is providing self-arranged day care under the federal Child Care Development initiative submit to fingerprinting and criminal background checks. A recent investigation found multiple examples of self-arranged relative day care providers with felonious records receiving payment for child care under this program.
This is the second bill related to day care filed by Senator Nelson this session. SB 21 will require that anyone who works at a day care in Texas submit to fingerprinting, along with criminal background checks that are already required. It also strengthens procedures for unannounced inspections. "This bill is designed to root out pedophiles who may have been able to deceive their way into positions working with children. They can fake their identity but not their fingerprint, which is why we need to take this step to protect children," Senator Nelson said.