Lawmakers say Texas needs more child care training - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/14/10

Lawmakers say Texas needs more child care training

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Right now in Texas, there are more requirements to become a licensed hairdresser than to become a certified child care worker. Some law makers say it's time for a change, but what to do is causing some debate.

Some say they need to reduce the number of kids supervisors can watch, but a panel of state law makers says more training may be the best and most cost effective answer. "Whatever we can do to improve child care for these kids is great; it might make things a little bit harder for us here, but in the end, it's what's best for the kids," Assistant Director of DoodleBug Square Daycare and Preschool Erin Higginbotham said. 

Higginbotham says more training would be good, but others say it may cost more.  To cover the cost some caregivers say they might have to raise prices to where some parents can't afford them.

Right now, folks have to complete eight hours of initial training, and then 15 more each year. The suggestion is to up that to between 16 and 40 hours of initial training, followed by between 25 and 40 each year.

Higginbotham says it's all about the kids and that added training can really make a difference in the quality of care. "I mainly work with school kids, and so there are many trainings that I've gone to that I'm like wow, you now, so it really gives you fresh ideas to bring into the work place," Higginbotham said. 

The Department of Family and Protective Services needs a ruling for the Texas Attorney General to see if they can change requirements now. A representative says if the AG determines they can't, they'll see if lawmakers will give them the power in the coming legislative session.

The AG's decision is expected by August.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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