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Utah lawmakers pass bill allowing home daycare providers to take more children

SHARE Utah lawmakers pass bill allowing home daycare providers to take more children
Jason Matterfis and Vladik Talker race trucks at the Wee Care Center at Utah Valley University.

Jason Matterfis front left, and Vladik Talker race trucks at the Wee Care Center at Utah Valley University in Orem, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. The Utah Legislature passed two bills Thursday aimed at helping families and children in the state.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

The Utah Legislature passed two bills Thursday aimed at helping families and children in the state.

The Senate passed HB15, which aims to increase access to child care. It will allow unlicensed home child care providers to take care of up to six children instead of up to four.

The bill also creates funding and other programs to promote the creation of additional child care centers for families and businesses.

Bill co-sponsor Senate Majority Whip Ann Millner, R-Ogden, noted that child care is "extremely difficult" for some families to find.

'We have a regulatory environment that is a little too tight," she said.

The Senate also approved HB153to require those who perform child welfare interviews to establish the comfort of a child. If the child is not comfortable being alone with the interviewer, the interviewer would need to ask if the child wants another adult to be there.

Sen. Chris Wilson, R-Logan, described the bill as a "collaborative effort" with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

"I think it's a very, very good bill, one that we need to try and help children in these difficult situations," Wilson said.

Both bills passed unanimously and await Gov. Spencer Cox's signature before becoming enacted.