Action Alert

Back legislation to end religious exemption for state day care centers

Support bill to require religious child care centers to follow basic standards

Alabama's House of Representatives is considering a bill that would put a stop to unrestrained child abuse and neglect in religious child care centers.

Currently, faith-based child care centers in Alabama do not have to comply with the basic standards that secular centers must follow. House Bill 277 would remove this dangerous exemption, but some conservative religious groups are vigorously opposing the bill.

Please contact your representatives now to tell them to support this common-sense bill to protect Alabama children.

CONTACT

HB 277 is currently being debated in the House, after receiving favorable treatment in the Committee on Children and Senior Advocacy, and will be voted on soon.

Please call and/or email your state representative today to voice your support to protect Alabama children who are at the mercy of a faith-based child care center. (We also encourage you to applaud the bill on social media or in a letter to your editor.)

Let our simple automated contact system contact him or her for you via phone or email. The wording in the automated comment section is editable. We encourage you to add your own thoughts to personalize the message text, subject heading or signature. This will make your message more effective in swaying your legislator.

(Keep reading if you wish to learn more about the bill.)

BACKGROUND

Alabama allows faith-based child care centers to operate with less oversight than in any other state in the country. This senseless free pass for religious centers has produced a trend of systematic child abuse and neglect. Often, when regulators have identified severe problems at secular centers and shut them down, those dangerous centers have rebranded themselves as faith-based child care centers "just days after" being shut down, according to Reveal News. This loophole has allowed them to continue their old ways without any oversight.

In one twisted case, a woman operated at least a dozen Christian day care centers across Southern Alabama, despite regular complaints of abuse and neglect, as well as arrests for child endangerment and failing to pay employees. But the state is currently unable to stop her, or other individuals, from setting up regulation-free centers in the same way.

Conservative Christian groups are fighting HB 277, arguing that bill "removes religious liberty protections." But religious liberty does not create a right to abuse or neglect children. When Alabama parents sends their children to a day care center, they should be confident that the center will meet at least basic health and safety standards, regardless of who runs the center.

The state's duty to protect its young citizens should not be subject to a recklessly mindless religious exception. Please call or email your representatives and urge them to support HB 277.

READ MORE

Conservative Christian groups gear up for fight over child care bill, religious exemption 

The 'Child Care Safety Act' or HB 277 could hold all child care centers to the same standards 

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