MADISON, Wis. (AP) – All day care centers, child care providers and children’s camps would have to test their water for lead under a bill the state Senate approved Tuesday.
Current state law requires anyone who cares for at least four children under age seven less than 24 hours a day to obtain a license from the state Department of Children and Families. The state agriculture department licenses recreational and educational camps.
Under the bill, child care center operators, child care providers, group home operators and camp runners would have to test water from every source in their facilities for lead contamination to obtain or renew their licenses. If the water is contaminated the applicant would have two options. He or she could stop all access to the water, come up with a remediation plan and supply drinkable water in the interim. Or they could come up with a plan for supplying drinkable water on a permanent basis.
The measure requires the DCF and agriculture departments to seek federal funding to help applicants cover compliance costs. It also would allow the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to use school trust funds to issue loans to municipalities to remediate lead contamination in buildings used for child care, group homes or camps.
The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote. It next goes to the Assembly.