New Rules For Florida Day Care

More than 2,000 day care centers around Florida could be forced to shut their doors if their directors don't get receive their state credentials by January 1.

Alice Jensen has been a day care provider for 30 years. She says the credential is valuable to have because it requires special training and courses in childhood development.

The directors need to know, it's very important that they have a better understanding of child care than the person who's off the street,” said Alice Jensen, day care director.

But the problem Jensen says is the directors of many of the mom and pop operations in some of Florida's lower-income areas don't have the time or the money to take courses and deal with government.

The state estimates 30 to 40 percent still don't have a credentialed director. Jensen fears many of the day cares that may have to shut down are the ones who are serving Florida's most vulnerable families.

A well-intentioned law to improve day care in Florida could end up taking away the only option some parents have. The law has actually been on the books for more than two years.

A DCF spokesman says day care center directors have had more than enough time to come into compliance with a law that will ultimately improve childcare in the state.