- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A bill requiring Hawaii child care providers to obtain liability insurance has passed its final reading in the House.

The bill is awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature to go into effect, Hawaii News Now reported (https://bit.ly/2pnstjQ ) Sunday. The bill would increase oversight and help families of kids hurt at day care, supporters said.

It would be known as the “Wiley Muir Act” in honor of a 4-month-old boy who died in 2014 at a Honolulu day care.

“I think it fills an important gap in policy to protect both providers and the families they serve,” said Cynthia King, Muir’s mother. “Ultimately, it’s a bill that allows parents to sue providers once an injury or death has already occurred. And the whole point is to try and prevent those things from happening.”

The Department of Human Services stated there are roughly 390 registered child care homes and six licensed group child care facilities in Hawaii.

The agency supports the intent of the bill, but said the costs of obtaining liability insurance might reduce the number of day cares available and parents might pay more for services.

“I’m really hoping that in the future, lawmakers will recognize there are still really important steps to take to make day cares safer for our keiki (children),” King said. “Ultimately, this really is just one piece of a bigger picture to try and make licensed day cares safer for our kids.”

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