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.

    “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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