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CASPER, Wyo. — A bill to exempt certain people who provide child care in their homes failed on a 3-6 vote in the House Committee on Labor Health and Social Services late Wednesday.

House Bill 239, sponsored by Rep. Lorraine Quarberg, R-Thermopolis, would have allowed child care providers to opt out of state certification or licensing but they could not collect state or federal money.

Quarberg believes parents should have the right to choose a child care facility for their children.

More than a dozen people spoke against the bill during a hearing late Wednesday, including parents and child care operators.

The parents said that using a licensed provider who has been through the certification process, which includes inspections and background checks, assured them their children are safe and secure while they work.

Mike McGrady, a Cheyenne attorney and parent, said allowing the exemption would eliminate any oversight of home child care operations, which is, after all, a business.

Child care operators said the application process to get certified is not burdensome.

The Wyoming Children's Action Alliance, the Wyoming Women's Foundation and the Equality State Policy Center opposed the bill.

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