Now law: Dunn legislation requires notification of absences at child care centers

Now law: Dunn legislation requires notification of absences at child care centers

Aura Dunn

TRENTON, N.J. –Assemblywoman Aura Dunn’s legislation prioritizing children’s safety by requiring daycares and parents to notify each other in the event of an absence was signed by the governor today.

“We have to remain vigilant to protect our children,” said Dunn (R-Morris). “We can’t let our guard down while the coronavirus upends normal routines. Many of our safety nets have disappeared because of disruptions to our schedules. Having an additional layer of communication in the event something seems amiss in a child care setting is common sense when it comes to the safety of little ones.”

Prior to becoming a New Jersey legislator, Dunn worked as a public affairs executive for Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. From Sesame Street to State Street, Dunn says that advocating for children’s health and safety has been a constant in her life’s work.

“During the state of emergency, parents have declined doctor visits and reports of child abuse to the state hotline have decreased. We know that the issues of abuse and neglect haven’t disappeared, but we certainly have less eyes on our children than we used to,” explained Dunn. “This law will cement a practice that puts the safety of children on the top of our priority list.”

The legislation (A3277/S559) will codify policies that currently exist in many child care centers and guarantee consistency in communication between parents and facilities across the state. Parents or guardians must notify daycares of an absence and daycares are required to contact the parent or guardian if a child is unexpectedly absent. The law takes effect immediately.