The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning announced policy changes and increased fines targeting the transportation of children by child care centers on Friday. The department says it has seen 21 incidents in the last year of children left unattended in vans and buses driven by child care providers.
The state already tries to give technical assistance and provide help to fix the problem.
"We established plans of corrections where they very clearly communicate to us how they are doing to avoid these in the future. That's a great process and we will continue to work with providers in that way. However, the evidence is clear. This is not sufficient. It's going to take more strict enforcement and more serious consequences to get people's attention," said Bobby Cagle of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
The department's chief says it was important to act quickly as temperatures rise. The department will now issue maximum fines of $499 for first-time violators.
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