Thousands of religious day cares across America legally are allowed to run their facilities with little government oversight. But freedom from regulation can come at a high price for children. And when things go wrong, parents have little recourse.
Physically punishing children is outlawed in almost all day cares in America. But four states offer an exception for religious providers, and Reveal found that hundreds of those day cares exploited the rules.
She’s been called a crook. A con artist. A snake in the grass. But in Alabama, the only thing that really matters to state regulators is that the day care operator calls herself a Christian.
Kamden Johnson hopped into a van at Community Church Ministries in Mobile. Hours later, the 5-year-old’s body was found dumped in a driveway.
For more than a decade, Deborah Stokes managed to operate a string of dangerous day cares around southern Alabama simply by claiming she ran a church. But no more.
A growing online petition calls for the end of “The God Loophole,” the patchwork of laws around the country that exempt faith-based day cares from licensing rules designed to protect children.
Florida is one of 16 states that grants certain freedom from oversight to religious day cares.
A man who ran an Alabama day care registered under a church’s name was convicted of sexual abuse. But the state Supreme Court later ruled that the church and day care weren’t connected.
An Alabama lawmaker has introduced a bill to license the more than 900 religious day cares in the state that currently operate without almost no government oversight.
The federal government, several state legislatures and local health departments have decided that granting faith-based day cares too much freedom puts children at risk.
For the first time in the state’s history, an Alabama lawmaker is introducing a bill to overturn the state’s religious exemption for faith-based day cares.
Most day care facilities are regulated by state agencies. But some states exempt religious day cares from the rules.