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12 December 2011

Rupp: Ensuring Our Children’s Safety

December 1 marked the date prefiled bills for the 2012 regular session received their numbers. I was happy to have the opportunity to prefile several pieces of legislation for the upcoming session, including SB 448. This measure would establish “Sam Pratt’s Law” and “Nathan’s Law,” and modify provisions relating to child care providers. I have addressed this important issue before, and I am determined to see this important bill enacted into law so Missouri families will have the peace of mind knowing their children are safe in daycare facilities.

I became aware of numerous children’s safety issues when I was notified that kids were sustaining injuries, or in some cases, losing their lives, after preventable situations occurred under the watch of irresponsible child care providers. There is no excuse for our children’s safety to be in jeopardy, so I’ve taken action to protect our kids’ well-being. As a parent, the health and safety of my children and family takes precedence before anything else in my life, and I’m sure all Missouri parents and guardians feel the same.

Sam and Nathan, the two children whom my legislation is named for, died tragically while in the hands of unlicensed child care services. I can’t imagine the loss that these boys’ families have had to come to terms with, and they are in my thoughts and prayers. My bill would address many important issues, including the licensure of child care providers and how many children a provider may have under his or her care. I want to do all I can to prevent what happened to Sam and Nathan from occurring again.

The children of Missouri and their families deserve the absolute best care, and I hope the people of our state will support this measure throughout the 2012 legislative session, which will begin at noon on Jan. 4. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this bill, please feel free to share them with me. You are welcome to e-mail me, or call my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282.

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