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Letter: Unfair regulation controls child care providers’ homes

Although I am not a smoker or allow smoking inside my home, I write on behalf of licensed in-home child care providers in New York State.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a new law banning smoking in, and on the property of all licensed child care homes. This ban not only includes when children are present but nights, weekends, holidays, etc., when the children are not present and we are closed.

Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) already has a regulation in place that smoking is not allowed when children are in our care. That is very acceptable. What is not acceptable is that Cuomo and his cohorts are able to control what we do on our own time in our own private homes. If I’m having a party, my guests are not allowed to smoke because Cuomo made a law for me and my home. That should be up to my discretion, not his.

The decision to not have a child exposed to cigarette residue that may linger in a home is up to the parent/guardian looking for child care, not the governor. What about the smoking parent who drops their child off every day with clothes, hair and diaper bag reeking of smoke and stinking up our homes?

Instead of telling us what we can’t do on our own time in the privacy of our own homes, why not go after all the unlicensed baby sitters in New York State?

These subpar unlicensed baby sitters put children in harm’s way every day by not following OCFS regulations. They take business away from those of us who follow the high standards and complete the required training to keep our license.

There’s a child care crisis in New York State. I wonder why? Will banning us from having pets be next?

Mary Orgek

President

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