MAYVILLE – Members of the Chautauqua County Child Advocacy program spoke to members of the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday at the regular meeting held in the Gerace Office Building. They are seeking additional funds to inspect homes where children receive care.
The advocacy group asked the committee members to consider additional funds for inspections and accreditation of early child care programs. They said there are about 11,000 children younger than 5 that require some type of services from day care to case management. The new program would be based on a “five star” rating system for the programs so that parents can look at scores for programs.
The advocacy group is also seeking additional funding for home inspection for child care providers who operate out of their residences. More than 100 homes are registered, and many more are not registered, they said. Registered home providers need to pass security clearances, including a fingerprinting check.
The group is seeking $50,000 from the county to fund inspections and complete background checks on child care providers who receive payment through county-subsidized funds.
“We are asking for local dollars to do home inspections,” said Bonny Sleight, director of the Chautauqua Opportunities Child Care Council. The group is looking for additional funding in the 2015 budget.
In other business before the committee:
• Chautauqua County will provide services to test beach water in Cattaraugus County. An intermunicipal agreement for the testing services was approved by members of the committee. Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler said Cattaraugus County will reimburse the costs related to the testing.
• Schuyler also presented information about the 2015 budget for the Health and Human Services Department. The department operates more than 100 programs. She said $2.76 million per month is distributed through the county’s welfare assistance programs.
She said other areas of increased concern for 2015 will include the monitoring of Amish schools in the county. She said there are 14 schools in the county and a county nurse is required to inspect the list of students for each school to check on immunizations. Schuyler said there has been an increase in the Amish population in the county.