H.R. 1662, The Anthony DeJuan Boatwright Act
Each day, millions of parents across the country make the decision to drop their children off into the care of others so that they can work and provide for their families. Finding the right day care facility for your child is no easy task, and can literally be a matter of life and death. I believe that parents should be provided with as much information possible as they make daycare choices for their children.
In 2001, 14-month old Anthony DeJuan "Juan" Boatwright was found headfirst and motionless in an unattended bucket of mop water at a state-licensed family day care center in Augusta, Georgia. The center was not insured, and there was no law that required the center to inform parents of their insurance status. Juan is now 8 years-old and is presently semi-comatose and ventilator-dependent.
If Juan's mother, Jacqueline, had known the day care center had no insurance, she never would've left her child there. Out of this tragedy, she decided to do something to help other parents avoid the same fate, and led an effort in Georgia to pass a law requiring uninsured day care providers to publicly post their insurance status.
I was proud to introduce H.R 1662, the Anthony DeJuan Boatwright Act which lets parents know if their daycare provider has liability insurance. The legislation doesn't require day care providers to have liability insurance, but it does recommend that all day care centers that receive federal Child Care & Development Block Grants carry liability insurance. It also requires that day care providers post publicly and conspicuously and give written notice of whether they have liability insurance. On June 2 this bill passed in the House, and I'm optimistic that it'll pass in the Senate and become law in the near future.
Child care should not be done haphazardly. We have truth in labeling; we have truth in lending; and we have truth in advertising. This is truth in day care. Our children are our greatest commodity and we owe them our protection. I pray that no other parent or child in our country will be deprived of knowing the truth about the insurance status of their child care center. So long as I serve in Congress I'll continue fighting for legislation that protects our families.