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Regulations for Church Child Care Programs

Court rules that church-run child care programs must comply with regulations.


• Is it legally permissible for a city ordinance regulating child care facilities to exempt from regulation only those child care programs conducted in churches? No, said a federal district court in Illinois. A city ordinance required child care providers to comply with a substantial number of regulations designed to assure the safety of children. The ordinance exempted child care programs conducted in any church building. This exemption was challenged by a person whose application for a child care license was denied by the city. The court agreed that the ordinance's exemption of church-operated child care programs violated the constitutional guaranty of the "equal protection of the laws" and in addition violated the first amendment's prohibition of any "establishment of religion." With regard to the "equal protection" claim, the court noted that a law is invalid if it treats groups ...

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  • March 1, 1991