Testimony to Senate Health and Human Services Committee For SB 1269
My name is Andrea Brauer, and I am the Early Education Policy Associate with Texans Care for Children. I have submitted a list of 50 child care centers from across the state that support this bill, along with several organizations and individuals also in support. I have also submitted an analysis of data that DFPS has provided, showing that child care centers with high ratios also have higher rates of serious incidents and inadequate supervision.
I support SB 1269, primarily for the following reason. 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.
A couple of organizations have distributed inaccurate information on this bill, creating fear among businesses and parents that the bill would result in major changes to ratios and group sizes, impacting profit. And, one major chain that generally keeps better ratios than minimum standards, dominates the opposition to this bill, and does not reflect the industry as a whole.