Testimony to House Human Services Committee For HB 3322
I am going to begin my testimony in support of HB 3322 with the most important thing you need to know about this bill. In 2010, DFPS' Committee on Licensing Standards concluded that "…. the agency does not believe that the current standards for group size….or ratios adequately protect the health and safety of children in some age ranges.” Five years later, the agency has not made any changes to these standards, keeping kids at risk.
Some folks will come before you today and say this standard doesn't really matter - that the American Academy of Pediatrics got it wrong. We disagree, and believe it is unconscionable to make this statement. Inadequate supervision was the third most frequent violation in Texas centers, with DFPS making 1,500 citations in the last fiscal year. We believe some of these incidents could be linked to very high ratios and group sizes. Common sense dictates that allowing one adult to care for eleven two year olds lends itself to an increased likelihood of accidents, most of which aren't even reported to DFPS. As a comparison, California only allows about half of the number of two year olds to one caregiver, and inadequate supervision wasn't even in their top eight violations.