The Committee on Child Care had its first meeting on the 25th of August. This year the committee consist of Rep. Tim Wesco, Chairperson; Sen. Travis Holdman; Sen. Earline Rogers; Tracie Wells; Melanie Brizzi; Mark Everson; Jim Greeson; Tony Bennett; Gregory Larkin; David McKee;Rep. Vanessa Summers; Cinda Kelley; Mitch Roob.
The first meeting included updates from Melanie Brizzi on Bureau of Child Care (BCC), Family and Social Services. Ms. Brizzi gave an overview on the successes with Paths to QUALITY over the past year, the collaborations with working with other community partners in improving quality of child care and information on the CCDF program.
Carol Johnson from Child Care Centers Advisory Committee (CCCAC),provided a testimony that painted a very real portrait of child care in Indiana. She related a story told to her by a consultant from Purdue University concerning two CCDF-eligible child care providers visited for one hour each by the consultant: (1) the first hour was spent in a room of 14 infants in 14 cribs around the room with a single caregiver, during which time the children all remained in the cribs with bottles propped and little attention paid to them; and (2) the second hour was spent in a room of ten children who ranged from ten to twelve months of age and were freely moving about the room, fighting over one book and five toys, the only items in the room. Ms. Johnson expressed her concern that children who are cared for in such circumstances by providers receiving government funding (which sends to parents a message of acceptability of the provider) is a disservice to the children and parents.
Other testimony included Joey Scherschel from the Child Care Homes Advisory Committee, Jean Cashmir from the Unlicensed Registered Ministry Group, Judy Ganser, M.D. from the Indiana State Department of Health, Dana Jones from Department of Education, Marsha Thompson from IACCRR, Diana Wallace from IAYEC, Ted Maple from United Way of Central Indiana, and Jillian Ritter the Military Child Care Liason.
At the end of the meeting Sen Holdman suggested that members of the committee visit different types of child care to see first hand what each looks like. They asked Ms. Brizzi to suggest some places to visit and plan on visiting the afternoon of the next committee meeting.
The next committee meeting will occur on September 27, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 404 of the State House. It is open to any individual that would like to attend. Interested parties who are interested in providing a general child care-related update during this meeting should contact Ann Naughton, Attorney for the Committee, at (317) 232-9575 or firstname.lastname@example.org .