Proposed legislation would require annual inspections at Philly childcare centers

     Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

    Philadelphia City Council member David Oh.(Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

    Under current laws, Philadelphia’s childcare facilities are largely unregulated and are only required to pass an initial fire safety inspection.

    A new bill proposed during Thursday’s city council meeting would change that.

    Councilwoman at-large Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced a piece of legislation that would require childcare facilities to pass yearly fire and food inspections and require occupancy licenses in order to obtain annual compliance letters.

    L&I inspections would certify that the buildings are in compliance with fire, electrical and safety codes, and that water quality, food safety licensing and lead paint requirements are met.

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    “The bottom line is that every center should be inspected for everything, every year,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, in a statement released this afternoon. Current procedures are largely retroactive; with inspections occurring only after a complaint has been logged.

    “Where the health and safety of young children are involved, investigating a problem on the back end, after a scary incident has occurred is not acceptable,” she said.

    “When parents select a childcare center that has been given a license by the City of Philadelphia, there is the assumption that the center is in compliance in all areas of operation; we need to ensure to the best of our ability that the license means something.”

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