TALLAHASSEE- After failing last year to pass legislation upgrading the health and safety standards of Florida's early-learning programs, lawmakers are beginning the process again for 2015.
On Wednesday, the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee unanimously passed a measure (SPB 7006) that is similar to a bill that died at the end of the 2014 legislative session. Committee Chairman John Legg, R-Lutz, said the bill would increase compliance with child-care standards and increase training qualifications for early childhood education providers.
For instance, the bill would require child-care personnel to be at least 18 years old and have high school diplomas, unless they are not responsible for supervising children.
Currently, though experts say the quality of teachers has a profound impact on learning outcomes for preschoolers, the state's licensing standards don't require a high-school diploma or GED, while permitting instructors to be as young as 16.