The State Senate has given final approval to  SB 161 , legislation that would create a quality rating system for child care facilities and for before-and-after-school programs licensed by the State Health Department.

The rating system will be based on a model used by the existing quality rating system developed by the University of Missouri Center for Family Policy and Research. Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, the sponsor of the legislation, says the system will allow consumers and parents to evaluate and select high quality programs while creating a system of accountability.

The plan calls for all licensed child care facilities to be subject to the rating system by January 1st of 2014. The bill now goes to the House, where similar legislation has already been introduced.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)