The holidays are almost here and this is also a perfect time to reflect on upcoming child care obligations especially with respects to Licensing. Here are some important updates on changes happening in the child care industry.

Licensing Division
This summer Licensing had an exploratory team of new and experienced Licensing Program Analysts (LPAs) out in daycares training new hires. They inspected daycares that had been in operation for as long as five years without a Licensing visit. Licensing has committed to conducting visits to child care homes once a year to ensure the safety of children in care and to better communicate so providers understand what is expected of them.

Licensing has also introduced a new Program Administrator, Shanice Orum. Orum wants more collaboration to happen between Licensing and providers. If you are in a position where you think you are not being heard, you can always call or email their supervisor. The name of the supervisor will be located on the Complaint Investigation Report (just above where the analyst’s name and telephone number is located).

CDSS Launches Pilot Program for Child Care Advocacy Technical Support
The Child Care Advocacy Technical Support Team has been tasked with developing a plan of action for the LPAs to become, “technical support for providers.” The team will examine how an LPA can serve as a consultant to providers and effectively offer Licensing as a resource to providers. In their planning they are to review the most commonly cited licensing violations with providers to assist in preventing these frequent citations. To do so, providers must understand how to be in compliance with regulations and the Health & Safety Code.

The inspections should be conducted with the explicit purpose of helping providers prevent common risks to children in their care. The LPA should be able to assist you in locating resources to improve the quality of care you provide to the children and to resolve any possible violations. These directives were given directly from Sacramento to the Licensing Division personnel so be sure to assert your rights if you agree to participate.

Citations/Appeal Reminders
Currently, appeals can take up to a year to receive a decision from your regional manager. However, once the regional manager does not grant the appeal; the second appeal heads to Ms. Orman’s office in Sacramento. Ms. Orman has been much more inclined to listen and grant appeals. We know all citations will appear under your daycare’s information for parents to read on Licensing’s website. If there is an appeal, parents are more likely to know the full context of the citation and increase the likelihood they will consider your services. Thus, you should always consider filing an appeal for wrongful citations.
LPAs have also been instructed to evaluate the following during all visits:

  1. Presence of a person without proper clearances, including excluded persons. Licensing considers it a” Very Serious” offense if you do not have criminal clearances for all adults available for LPA.
  2. Ratios must be met at all times. The failure to do so may cause loss/wandering of a child, an injury, or even death.
  3. All bodies of water need to either be locked or adequately covered. The gate is to swing outward or away from the pool.
  4. Capacity Limitations need to be followed. Fire Clearances need to be in place where required.
  5. No Corporal Punishment, excessive time-outs, withholding food or activities is allowed in the daycares.
  6. Daycare must be in good physical shape so children have minimal risk of injury. Any repairs need to be done immediately and safely with no children present.
  7. CPR & First Aid cards must be up to date. You may not leave the children alone with anyone who does not have their CPR & First Aid cards & certificates.
  8. Emergency & Disaster Plan in place. Be sure and have all the documents of drills available to the LPA.
  9. You need to be sure all of the required documents are posted for the parents to see and read.

Always have your written reports reviewed by someone so they are accurate and do not contain any contradictory information. With this checklist list in hand you can conduct your own mini-inspection. Walk through your daycare, ensure your daycare is in compliance, and confirm you can defend your policies and procedures as if you were undergoing an official inspection.

Please send any suggestions for any general topics you would like me to cover for the next newsletter to.

Janice Mandel
(818) 917-2215
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, and not Service Employees International Union, Local 99 (“Local 99”). The content of this article is provided to you for informational purposes only. Local 99 does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein, and is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or claims for damages arising out of use, or with regard to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information contained herein. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney to obtain advice on your particular matter.