MASON, Ohio (WOIO) - The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of 40 daycare centers across Ohio on Tuesday against the Ohio Department of Health’s order on the number of children day cares may supervise.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan legal center argues the “Ohio Department of Health has no constitutional authority to overrule state legislation protecting parents, children, and day cares.”
The 1851 Center claims that the Department of Health’s May 29 Order “severely reduces the number of children each adult staff member may supervise and the number of children who may be in the same room at any one time, even though the statutes governing day cares expressly protect their right to care for larger groups of children.”
The director’s order reduces the number of:
- pre-schoolers a staff member may care for from 14 to nine.
- school-aged-children a staff member may care for from 20 to nine.
- children who may be within the same room, regardless of the size of the space, from 40 to nine.
According to The 1851 Center, “agency regulations attempting to overrule express legislation on the same subject violate Ohio’s Separation of Powers limits. And in this case, the Ohio Revised Code expressly provides that no administrative regulations may conflict with the group sizes the General Assembly has protected.”
“The Ohio Constitution protects Ohioans from unelected government administrators attempting to override statutes passed by elected representatives, no matter what the rationale,” explained 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. “These regulations are particularly pernicious because they limit child care options for parents needing to return to work, dramatically raise the costs of these options, and threaten to bankrupt Ohio day cares.”
The case is pending before Judge Timothy Tepe in Warren County, Ohio.
Read the court’s full order here.