State Rep. Brad Slagh, of Zeeland, has introduced a plan to allow certain homeless shelters to continue providing onsite child care without a license, in specific circumstances.
According to Slagh, the Holland Rescue Mission came to an agreement approximately 20 years ago with the state of Michigan stating it could provide child care. The state has reevaluated its interpretation of the agreement, however, and the Holland Rescue Mission has been forced to eliminate its child care services, putting many mothers relying on babysitting services in uncertainty.
“For 27 years, there have been no issues at the Mission thus far,” Slagh said. “Child care services ensure children are safely cared for, while their mothers are working at gaining employment. Children in these special situations shouldn’t suffer because of unnecessary rules.”
Slagh’s newly introduced legislation allows a homeless shelter to operate without a license if the facility and circumstances meet several common-sense requirements including the following:
- The facility has a paid licensed nurse on staff.
- It can provide job training and placement assistance.
- It has a written agreement with local law enforcement for regular visit rotations.
“The Holland Rescue Mission has played an important role in helping struggling West Michigan families for decades,” Slagh said. “The state should do all it can to allow it and similar shelters throughout Michigan to continue offering care and support to our communities.”
State Sen. Roger Victory, of Hudsonville, introduced identical legislation in the Senate.
House Bill 5211 has been referred to the House Family, Children and Seniors Committee for consideration.