Suffolk County, NY
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 3-29-1988 by L.L. No. 8-1988 (Ch. 33 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
Day-care facilities and home care services — See Ch. 396.
Child protection — See Ch. 880.
Execution of child day-care contracts — See Ch. 893, Art. I.
Payments to day-care centers — See Ch. 899.
This Legislature hereby finds that parents are becoming a larger and larger segment of the general work force as the era of the two-wage-earner family becomes more widely accepted by the American people. This Legislature also finds that this trend has been paralleled in public sector employment, more particularly Suffolk County, wherein a larger and larger proportion of the County work force has come to consist of two-wage-earner employees who are simultaneously raising children.
This Legislature hereby determines that a corresponding need to provide care for the offspring of two-wage-earner families has accompanied the growth in such families. This Legislature also determines that, quite often, the cost of retaining child-care services is so prohibitive as to discourage parents from entering, reentering, remaining in or returning to the work force upon the bearing of a child. In addition, many parents are reluctant to reenter or return to the work force because of concern that they will not be present during the enormously important formative stages of their children's development.
As a consequence, the County of Suffolk is deprived of the most efficient use of well-trained, well-educated, highly motivated, efficient employees, either through a reluctance to enter or return to County employment or through a reduction in employee morale caused by the burdens and strains associated with child-care costs and impersonal child-care services.
This Legislature hereby acknowledges that corporate America has already moved in the direction of providing in-house day-care facilities for its employees as part of a system to advance the American personnel and labor relations movement to a new plateau of sensitivity to the needs of employees. Major American corporations currently provide child day-care facilities on premises for their employees on a regular basis as part of a program to retain highly skilled, well-trained, well-educated, highly motivated, experienced, efficient employees who, in turn, maximize the effectiveness of such corporations.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to mobilize County resources to establish comprehensive child day-care facilities for eligible participating County employees on a permanent basis so as to place the County of Suffolk in the vanguard of an enlightened and socially responsible labor policy for municipal employees.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995; 10-8-1996 by L.L. No. 22-1996]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Director of the Division of Human Services in the County Executive's office.
The County of Suffolk.
Care for infants, toddlers, children of preschool age and children of primary school age (kindergarten through eighth grade).
The Suffolk County Department of Social Services.
The Suffolk County Department of Personnel and Labor Relations.
Any person holding a position by appointment or employment in the service of the County of Suffolk.
The Administrator is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to develop, within 12 months after the effective date of amendments to this chapter, a comprehensive program to provide child day-care services to any County employee who meets County eligibility criteria developed pursuant to this chapter and who elects to participate in such a program. Such comprehensive program shall also be offered to low-income private citizens who shall be eligible to participate in the program if they make contributions in an amount to be determined by the Administrator on a sliding-scale fee basis. The initial program shall provide for a pilot facility located in the former DWI lockup of the H. Lee Dennison Executive Office Building in Hauppauge, New York. Additional facilities may be developed under the program when, as determined by the Administrator, a documented need exists and the level of demand for a facility is sufficient to offset the costs and sustain the operation of the facility. These additional facilities shall be located in the former County Infirmary in Yaphank, New York, and a County facility in Riverhead, New York, to be chosen by the County Executive, wherein children of eligible County employees may receive such child day-care services as are provided by the program Monday through Friday of any week, except for official public holidays. Such services may be provided under this program through the employment of appropriate County employees or through agreements with outside licensed contractors to render such services to the County, including but not limited to joint private/public enterprises, ventures or undertakings to render such services. This program shall incorporate any existing County-initiated, -approved or -funded child day-care programs for County employees as a component of the program required herein.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995; 8-16-1999 by L.L. No. 31-1999; 12-2-2003 by L.L. No. 29-2003]
The Suffolk County Executive is hereby authorized and empowered to enter into such contracts as he shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter. Such contracts shall be subject to the approval and ratification of the Suffolk County Legislature.
If outside licensed contractors are utilized to provide child day-care services under this chapter, then such contractors shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 396, Day-Care Facilities and Home Care Services, as amended, and § 38-5 of this chapter.
The Director shall develop criteria and guidelines to establish the eligibility of County employees to participate in such a program. These guidelines and criteria shall be submitted to the County Legislature for ratification and approval via resolution.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995]
The Director shall develop educational criteria and guidelines for such County employees, if any, who may be utilized to provide such day-care services. These guidelines and criteria shall be submitted to the County Legislature for ratification and approval via resolution.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995]
The program shall include but not be limited to provisions allowing employees and their spouses to visit day-care facilities provided under this chapter for the purpose of observing, inspecting and monitoring the day-care services provided to their children at such facilities.
[Amended 8-16-1999 by L.L. No. 31-1999]
The Suffolk County Executive is hereby authorized and empowered to accept contributions, gifts, donations and grants-in-aid from individuals, corporations, other municipalities or state or federal agencies directed solely and exclusively to the provision of child day-care services contemplated in § 38-3 of this chapter. Any such funds received shall be segregated from other County funds and be utilized only for this purpose. The County, subject to appropriate legislative resolution, may further approve funds for such child day-care services in such sums and/or percentages as may be prescribed by the County Legislature. The Suffolk County Legislature shall approve funding for actual facilities pursuant to § 38-3A of this chapter.
[Amended 8-10-2004 by L.L. No. 23-2004]
Any contractor providing services under a contract approved and ratified pursuant to this chapter shall be responsible for the recruitment of appropriate personnel, the verification of credentials and references, the review of criminal record information in conjunction with the Department, the screening of all current and prospective personnel, the selection and hiring of all personnel necessary to furnish child day-care services and the periodic updating of such information obtained from the implementation of this section of this chapter.
Screening shall include but not be limited to the following:
Review of criminal convictions and pending criminal actions in conjunction with the Department.
Inquiry with the statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
Prior to allowing any new employee or volunteer to work at a day-care facility contracted with the County of Suffolk, an inquiry shall be made to the New York State Sex Offender Registry. A completed verification form prescribed by the Department shall be filed with the contract administrator at the Suffolk County Department of Social Services within three business days prior to the commencement of employment and shall be included as part of the facility's official record.
For prospective personnel only, inquiry with the applicant's three most recent employers.
Any criminal history record (CHR) reply supplied by the State of New York Division of Criminal Justice Services shall be received and reviewed by the Department.
No contractor shall dismiss or permanently deny employment to current or prospective personnel who are subjects of a pending criminal action. A contractor may suspend such current personnel or defer employment decisions on the basis of such action pending a final disposition of the pending criminal action. The Department shall advise the contractor, in writing, of any CHR reply which may preclude current or prospective personnel from employment.
Any contractor is hereby authorized and required to have all current and prospective personnel fingerprinted by an appropriate County agency or department.
As a condition of employment and continued employment, the contractor shall obtain written consent from all current and prospective child day-care services personnel for fingerprinting and criminal record review. Denial of such consent shall constitute grounds for dismissal or refusal to employ.
The Director shall require appropriate documentation from the contractor indicating compliance with this section. The requirements contained in this section shall be incorporated into all contracts for child day-care services entered into by the County of Suffolk. Any violation of such a condition shall constitute a material breach of the contract sufficient to cause termination by the County.
The Commissioner of the Department shall require termination of child day-care services personnel in instances in which the screening required by Subsection B of this section results in a finding that such personnel have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor which, in the judgment of the Commissioner of the Department, endangers the health, safety and physical and/or mental well-being of a recipient of child day-care services.
Any employee hired by the County to render such child day-care services shall be subjected by the Director or a person designated to administer the child day-care facilities program to the same screening requirements contained in Subsection B of this section.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995; 8-16-1999 by L.L. No. 31-1999; 12-2-2003 by L.L. No. 29-2003]
The Suffolk County Executive is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire such office space or general facilities as shall be necessary to develop a pilot facility under the initial program in the former DWI lockup of the H. Lee Dennison Executive Office Building in Hauppauge, New York, and any additional facilities, developed pursuant to this chapter, to be located in the former County Infirmary in Yaphank, New York, and in Riverhead, New York, at a site to be chosen by the County Executive, either by purchase, condemnation, lease, devise or gift, subject to all requirements of law, including but not limited to necessary resolutions to be submitted to the County Legislature to authorize, approve and ratify such acquisitions.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995; 10-8-1996 by L.L. No. 22-1996; 12-2-2003 by L.L. No. 29-2003]
The initial program contemplated for final development at the conclusion of the above-described twelve-month period shall commence no later than September 27, 1999. During the existence of this initial program, the Director shall monitor, study and assess the feasibility and viability of the program, including but not limited to its utilization ratio, its cost per child to the County, the efficiency of outside contractors versus in-house personnel, the availability and accessibility to centrally located sites, the degree of increased exposure for personal injury and property damage liability incurred by the County as a result of such program, the impact of such program on the morale and efficiency of the County work force and the desirability of expanding such a program both on a permanent basis and to other geographical locations within the County. The Director shall submit a written report to the County Executive, Presiding Officer of the County Legislature and Chairman of the Health, Human Services and Family Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature within 90 days after the conclusion of an eighteen-month period measured from September 27, 1999. During the last month of the eighteen-month period, and pending the outcome of such a report, the Legislature may, by resolution, extend for six months the initial period for such child day-care facility program. In no event shall the total initial period exceed more than 24 months from the start-up date of September 27, 1999. Any determination to convert the initial program and the pilot facility to a permanent status and/or to expand such program to include additional facilities in Suffolk County shall be made by the Administrator subject to the approval of funding by the Suffolk County Legislature.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995]
The Administrator may, by regulation, establish and charge to eligible participating employees such fees and charges for the rendering of such day-care services as, to the Director, may appear just and reasonable in order to recover the County's costs in performing these functions. This schedule of fees and charges may include a sliding scale tied to the income levels of eligible participating employees.
[Amended 10-2-1995 by L.L. No. 27-1995]
The Administrator is hereby authorized and empowered to issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary and sufficient to implement the provisions of this chapter.
The Director may negotiate collectively with recognized or certified employee organizations concerning the terms and conditions of the child day-care facilities program established pursuant to this chapter or in connection with any question arising thereunder.