CDD Child Care Licensing Tips - April 2017
CDD licensing would like to share the following tips with you:
- Call the Licensor on Duty (LOD) line with questions
- Don't forget your License Renewal Application
- What to do when you have Partner Staff
- Water Testing Resources
- What to expect for Background Clearances
Please call (800) 649-2642 option 3 to discuss licensing rules and processes. The call volume is significant enough that you will need to leave a message when the Licensing Field Specialist is on the phone with another caller. Leaving a message is the fastest way to get your questions answered. We strive to return all calls the same day. If we need to research your question to give you the most complete answer, we will let you know. We are monitoring calls to assess whether we are meeting the call volume.
Waiting until you are experiencing an emergency is not the best time to call the LOD line. While we do prioritize calls that may need a more immediate response, we can't guarantee that we won't be responding to other more urgent situations. It is important to have Emergency Response Plans that address "what ifs" in advance so that in an emergency you know what you need or will do. If your call does require a more immediate response, please include this in your phone message. As a rule, if you can't operate (e.g. power outage) in compliance with licensing rules, then you should close your program during the situation. Or, for example, if you are unsure how to give medication properly, you should notify the parent that you are not able to give the medication until you have received training and you certainly could require this training be from a trained medical professional.
If you have feedback on the customer service you receive when you use the LOD line, please contact Licensing Supervisors Kelly Lyford or Donna Lopiccolo.
- Kelly Lyford: email@example.com or (802) 685-7819
- Donna Lopiccolo: firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 259-2310
Unfortunately CDD is noticing a slight increase in programs (intending to remain open) not submitting license renewal applications prior to the program's expiration date. This results in the license being expired, child care and/or preschool services not being allowed to be provided, and the Family Child Care Provider or licensee submitting an entire new application. CDD sends a notice to complete your license renewal application 60 days prior to your license expiration date and again 15 days prior to your license renewal. This notice will come as a new document in your BFIS program account, you will receive an email when it is created. It is your responsibility to submit a complete license renewal application. CDD is required to expire licenses when a license renewal application has not been received regardless of the type of program.
There are several main things you may need to know about partner staff.
- Please refer to the definition of partner staff in the regulations. If a staff member is employed by another entity, they are partner staff and partner staff rules apply.
- Partner staff are required to complete a background clearance if they are going to be present in your program for more than 5 times a year. This would include CIS staff, Vermont Birth to Five mentors, special educators or professionals, and etcetera.
- Partner staff may not count in ratio and may not be left alone with children.
- If a partner staff person needs to work alone with a child, with written parental permission the partner staff may sign the child out of your program and work with the child alone. When their work together is finished, the child would be signed back into the program. (Please see the memo dated 10/6/2016 regarding this option http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd-blog/supervision-children-special-needs-receiving-services-partner-staff).
CDD is aware that some Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs (CBCCPP) programs (e.g. Head Start) have written, collaborative agreements with schools. Or for example, a school and supervisory union may have a written, collaborative agreement. Often these collaborative agreements have one staff member employed by the CBCCPP and another staff member employed by the other entity. The staff member employed by the other entity is considered partner staff and partner staff rules apply. CDD considers variance requests in these unique situations. The CBCCPP licensee would need to submit a variance for CBCCPP rule 2.2.52 requesting that the individual be defined as staff. It is important to include in the variance request the full name of the individual you wish to have identified as a staff member and the details regarding the collaborative relationship. If approved, the variance will be for one school year, apply specifically to the named individual(s) in the variance request, will allow all rules applying to "staff" be applied to the named individual(s), and will have other conditions required to be met.
The following are resources for water testing:
- Vermont Department of Health Laboratory has child care water testing kits which meet licensing requirements. Test kits may be obtained by calling the lab: (802) 338-4736 or (800) 660-9997.
- For a list of other Vermont Certified Drinking Water Labs that may be used: http://healthvermont.gov/public-health-laboratory/laboratory-certification-or-approval/drinking-water-laboratory
- Vermont Department of Health child care drinking water fact sheets. http://healthvermont.gov/health-environment/chemicals-childrens-products/child-care-providers
If you have a condition on your license which requires water testing and you have received the results, please send an email to the Licensing Technician assigned to your town (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/whos_who). In the email, please note the date you completed water testing and whether the test(s) passed/failed. You can determine whether a water test passed/failed by comparing the levels from your water test result letter to the acceptable levels noted in the corresponding fact sheet. Please be sure to always maintain water testing results documentation in your program.
Also, for those programs on public water or on a permitted water system, please be aware that the licensing rules require you only complete a lead water test for licensing purposes. That test kit can be obtained at the test labs listed above.
If you have questions about licensing rules, please contact the Licenser on Duty line (800-649-2642 option 3). If you have questions about water testing results, ordering a water test, or the testing process, please contact Vermont Department of Health.
First and foremost, Record Check Authorization forms may only be submitted on individuals associated directly with your licensed program. If your program is in a building with other programs or businesses, you may not submit a background clearance request for individuals not associated directly with the licensed program.
- Please use definitions and licensing rules to help you determine which position is appropriate to be identified on the Record Check Authorization form. CDD staff use this information to determine whether fingerprinting is required.
- If fingerprinting is required and CDD is now implementing it for your program, then CDD will provide the necessary documentation and guidance for the fingerprint process to be completed.
- Please discard any old background clearance forms you may have and use the ones on CDD's website (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/forms-child-care-providers). If an old form is submitted, CDD will return it to you with a request that you use the current version.
- Please do not add lines or additional information to these forms. They may only be used as they have been designed.
CDD does need the individual signing the Record Check Authorization form to provide their personal contact information to include their personal email address. CDD uses this information to communicate directly with the individual during the background clearance process to include notification of the results. This information sharing and communication is in addition to CDD notifying the program of the background clearance results.