A major reform to the state’s child care system is headed to the governor. State Senator Bob Jauch noted that lawmakers in Madison were spurred to action, by investigative reporting in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, showing fraud and abuse in the Wisconsin Shares program.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)

“We have become painfully aware that some people taking care of of our child care system ought not be there, because of criminal backgrounds” said Jauch. “Child care workers must be held to the highest possible standard, and we have discovered . . . that the laws are inadequate.” The bill passed Thursday is the sixth statutory change in the wake of the Wisconsin Shares investigation, and Jauch conceded it may not be the last. “We’re going to have to continue to evaluate this system, to be sure that it operates at the highest standards.”

The bill (SB 331) prohibits persons convicted of certain crimes from ever being licensed as child care providers, and requires criminal background checks on providers at least every three months.

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