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Some regulations loosened for unlicensed child care homes under bill sent to governor

A group of children in pjs gather around a teacher.
FILE PHOTO: Jeanie Lindsay
IPB News
Indiana has less than half the number of child care seats it needs to meet demand.

Lawmakers hope to increase access to child care by rolling back regulations of unlicensed child care homes.

HB 1102 increases the number of children allowed in child care homes from five to seven — which doesn’t include any children in the home who are relatives of the owner. The number of children in the home who are 12 months old or younger is limited to three.

The bill also allows those homes to care for kids longer, from four to six hours a day.

Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) said the bill is about flexibility.

“It allows parents to decide if they want to participate,” Walker said. “It allows the provider to decide if they want to expand their capacity.”

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But Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said with child care access limited, parents don’t always have choices about where to send their kids. And he said expanding capacity in unlicensed homes isn’t the answer.

“We are trying to solve a problem by endangering children,” Taylor said.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.