“We want to thank the Department of Health (DOH) and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for participating in the joint hearing of the Council’s Health and General Welfare Committees in November to examine the inspection and monitoring of child care centers. We appreciate DOH’s formal acknowledgment that more must be done to enhance safety in day care centers and that parents have better access to information related to the quality of child care centers.

Overall, we believe that DOH’s proposed changes to the Health Code are a good attempt to address many of the concerns that we raised at the hearing and afterwards. The requirement that infants are checked more frequently while they are sleeping, and that staff document their observations, is an important safety measure. We are also pleased that the Department of Health is moving toward enhancing training for staff in emergency procedures at day care centers, to make sure that workers are better equipped to prevent a tragedy from happening.

We also appreciate that DOH recognized the Council’s concern that the agency is not adequately providing information to parents. DOH will require centers to provide written information about DOH as children enroll, as well as notification and more specific information about when, how, and why a day care center is closed. These changes will help parents make better informed decisions about where they send their children during the day.

These proposed changes to the New York City Health Code are all good steps in the right direction that we believe will protect children and help parents. We look forward to learning more details about all of these proposals.”