House to vote on regulations for faith-based day cares

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers will debate a proposal to require all day cares to be regulated by the state and end a longstanding exemption for faith-based facilities.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, the bill's sponsor, has said the loophole leaves children vulnerable to abuse and neglect. VOICES for Alabama's Children said the state is one of seven that broadly exempt faith-based day cares from regulation.

The bill is expected to face pushback from lawmakers who want to keep the exemption open for churches.

The Department of Human Resources says about half of day cares in the state are uninspected. Exempt facilities do not have to meet regulations such as worker-to-child ratios.