Winter 2018 Child Care Licensing Newsletter

09 February 2018

Information contained in this newsletter:

Message from the Director of Child Care Licensing
Helpful information about background record checks
Bright Futures Information System


Message from the Director of Child Care Licensing

Hello to All!
 
Within the Licensing Unit, we continue to have our own transitions.  We have said good-bye to Licensing Field Specialist Judy D'Este who has retired after 20+ years of service to the State of Vermont.  On 12/26/2017, we welcomed Sarah Crosier as our newest Licensing Field Specialist.  Sarah will be in training over the next few months with Licensing Field Specialist Elaine Crawford. 
 
There was a lot of information shared in the August Licensing Newsletter about what to expect after 9/1/2017.  Please use this link (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd-blog/august-2017-licensing-newsletter) to review reminders, tips, and suggestions that help provide supports and will also continue to help you know what to expect.  In addition, our Frequently Asked Questions (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/laws-regs/cc_faqs) has a variety of information on earning a high school diploma or GED and what to do when you are experiencing challenges with finding qualified staff.
 
I would also like to debunk a rumor that I've heard. The rumor implies that CDD is seeking to revise regulations to increase qualifications again for Family Child Care Homes in the next year.  Please rest assured that this is not happening nor has it been a discussion here at CDD.  We are busy working with all of you with complying with qualifications.  I'd like to recognize how far everyone has come with complying with new regulations.  Our focus continues to remain on providing technical assistance with complying with new regulations.

Thank you,

Christel Michaud
Director of Child Care Licensing

 

Helpful information about background record checks

There is always a lot to say about background clearances.  Please be sure to read each tip below!

  • Please be sure to let partner staff and volunteers working within your program know when they need or don't need to submit Record Check Authorization forms.  If they will be visiting several different licensed programs, then you may invite them to complete the Multi-site Record Check Authorization form.  Please see our memo titled "Tips for Partner Staff on CDD Licensing Background Clearances" using this link (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd-blog/tips-partner-staff-cdd-licensing-background-clearances).  If you have questions about the process or when to have them submit to a background clearance, please call the Licensor on Duty line for assistance (800-649-2642 option 3).
  • All background clearances are good for 5 years.  There is no longer a requirement that you submit Record Check Authorization forms for all staff annually.
  • When a Record Check Authorization form is completed, please be sure that staff provide all information requested especially their personal email, mailing address, and phone number as well as their date of birth.  It is very important that the handwriting is clear and easy to read.
  • Staff may only use the position titles listed that apply to your set of regulations.  For example, a staff member working in a CBCCPP may not use the position title Afterschool Program Staff. This position title only applies to ASPs.  If you need assistance with determining which position title is appropriate to use, please call the Licensor on Duty line at (800) 649-2642 option 3.  Please ensure staff do not write their own position title on the Record Check Authorization form.
  • We are entering fingerprint results every day we receive them from the Vermont Crime Information Center.  If there is an issue with someone's fingerprint results, we will contact the person and discuss the issue and how to address it.  Vermont Crime Information Center is processing fingerprint clearances as quickly as possible. 
  • To reduce the chance of challenges with fingerprinting, please be sure staff are prepared to pay the fee for submitting to fingerprinting, remember to sign the Fingerprint Authorization Certificate at the Fingerprint Identification Center, and remember to moisturize their hands and drink lots of fluids 2 weeks prior to submitting to fingerprinting.
  • All public and private prequalified prekindergarten programs' staff have been given the Fingerprint Authorization Certificate.  It is required that staff use this certificate and submit to fingerprinting as soon as possible.
  • We are in the process of issuing Fingerprint Authorization Certificates to staff of CBCCPP Non-Recurring Programs and Afterschool Programs.  Once your staff have received their Fingerprint Authorization Certificate, they are required to submit to fingerprinting with the certificate.  Licensing Technicians are contacting each program before issuing staff the Fingerprint Authorization Certificate.

 

Bright Futures Information System (BFIS)


Quality and Credential Accounts

Staff's BFIS Quality and Credential accounts are required to show how they meet qualifications and professional development requirements.  Please review your staff's accounts to confirm all education and professional development documentation has been included.  Once it is in their BFIS Quality and Credential accounts, you no longer need to keep a copy on file at your program. This electronic version meets the requirement and is accessible by the staff member, yourself, and licensing staff.  It also travels with the staff member no matter which licensed child care, preschool program, or afterschool program within which they may work. 
  • If documentation is not in the staff member's BFIS Quality and Credential account, please use the Verification Cover Sheet (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/professional-development) which is the last link in the 2nd paragraph on this CDD webpage.  It is important to carefully follow instructions on the Verification Cover Sheet when using it. 
  • If the staff member has already sent documentation to Northern Lights at CCV and if after two weeks it still isn't in their BFIS Quality and Credential account, please contact Northern Lights at CCV to discuss this before sending it again.  For questions please contact Rhys Morris, Senior Administrative Assistant with Northern Lights at CCV: (802) 828-2878 or northernlights@ccv.edu.  Northern Lights at CCV enters transcripts, high school diplomas, training information, certifications (e.g. GED, CDA or CPR), resumes, and professional licenses (e.g. teaching license) into BFIS Quality and Credential accounts.  Staff are required to enter their own IPDP into their BFIS Quality and Credential account or for you to have it on file at your program.  Northern Lights at CCV doesn't enter IPDPs in BFIS.
  • Setting up a BFIS Quality and Credential account:  Once a new staff person has been listed in your Associated Parties list by CDD staff, this is when you and they want to check to see if they have a BFIS Quality and Credential account set up. Please wait to check for this after the person appears on your Associated Parties list. If they do not have a BFIS Quality and Credential account set up, the employee may set one up by going to https://bfishelp.ahs.state.vt.us/ and clicking on “How Do I Sign Up?”. More information about how to sign up and how to use the account can be found here: http://dcf.vermont.gov/childcare/providers/bfis.

Staff/Associated Parties lists

Associated Parties lists are required to be up-to-date and accurate. 

If a staff person, volunteer, or other individual is no longer associated with your program; you are required to remove them from your Associated Parties list.  For guidance on how to do this see the fact sheet titled "Updating Staff/Associated Party Information in BFIS" (http://dcf.vermont.gov/childcare/providers/bfis).  If the person that you are removing from the Associated Party list also has access to the program's BFIS account, please email the BFIS Help Desk (bfis.help@vermont.gov) and request the person's access be disconnected.

To have someone added to your Associated Parties list, submit a Record Check Authorization form (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/forms-child-care-providers). Record Check Authorization forms must be submitted for all individuals who are employed by your program and/or will be present more than 5 times a year.

 

Cushioning Material and Winter Playground Safety

Cushioning material is required to be "resilient" at all times which means that it is able to absorb a child's fall and decrease the chance of the child being injured.  In the winter, rain that freezes and compacted snow take away cushioning material's ability to be "resilient."  This means that children must not be allowed to use the equipment until the cushioning material is able to be resilient again.  For example, the woodchips around and at the bottom of a slide that are frozen prevent the slide from being a play option until the woodchips thaw and are spongey again.

If you do not have cushioning material or need more to meet the depth requirement, you are in compliance with licensing regulations if you ensure children do not play on the equipment that is over 30" high.  There are a variety of other outside activities for children that are healthy and engaging.  When you can add cushioning material, the children may then play on this equipment.

 

Water Testing

Water testing for Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs and Family Child Care Homes:

  • Some providers are receiving solicitation to use laboratories outside of Vermont.  If you choose not to use the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, please be sure that the laboratory you are choosing to use is a Vermont Certificated Drinking Water Laboratory by checking the list provided by Vermont Department of Health (http://www.healthvermont.gov/public-health-laboratory/laboratory-certification-or-approval/drinking-water-laboratory). 
  • If you are doing your lead water test for the first time, please be sure to use the "first draw" lead water test instructions. 
  • If you have completed your "first draw" lead water test and it didn't pass, you are required to re-test your water for lead annually.  With this annual test, please be sure to follow the "flush sample" lead water test instructions.  (Note:  If the first draw lead water test passed, you are not required to re-test your water for lead.)

 

Child Care Wellness Consultant Program Transition

The Child Care Wellness Consultant Program is in transition.  As of 1/1/2018, if you have health and/or safety questions, please feel free to contact your local Maternal and Child Health nurse in the Vermont Department of Health District Office.  This link (http://www.healthvermont.gov/children-youth-families/infants-young-child...) provides you with the name and contact information for your local Maternal and Child Health nurse. 

 

Flu Season Information from the Department of Health

It’s flu season, and thousands of children younger than age five are hospitalized every year with flu complications (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm), and while it is rare, some children die from the flu. The single best way to be protected is for all people aged 6 months and older to get an influenza vaccine each year. Vermont Department of Health has written a parent letter and encourages you to share it with your families.  To access the parent letter, use this link (http://www.healthvermont.gov/immunizations-infectious-disease/immunization/child-care-providers).  You will be able to access the parent letter by selecting "News and Updates."

Training

Medication Administration Trainings

Medication Administration Trainings have been a positive and lasting product from Vermont's Early Learning Challenge Grant.  These trainings will continue and will now be managed by Northern Lights at CCV. (http://ccv.edu/documents/2017/12/northern-lights-training-information-2018.pdf)

  • If you are in a public preschool program, and you have a full-time nurse who is on site to administer medications at all times when the preschool program is operating, it may still be best to have someone from your program take a training to be sure that someone is always available when the nurse is out or the class is on a field trip. 
  • Also, some school-based programs have asked if their nurse could provide the training to staff.  They can provide the training if the training meets the criteria (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/professional-development/requirements) and the school is a BFIS Sponsor (https://northernlightscdc.org/your-role/sponsors-of-professional-development/).  This is also a great way for other on-site trainings provided at schools to be counted as meeting professional development requirements for staff.

Orientation Training

Good news!  The Orientation Training is now available.  Please use this link (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd-blog/vermont-approved-child-care-orientation-training) to access this mandatory training.  Once you have completed this training, the Mandatory Reporter Training (http://dcf.vermont.gov/protection/reporting/mandated) and learned your program's policies and procedures on orientation topics; you have completed the orientation requirement.  We know that some of you would like to create your own orientation training for your staff.  We are working on creating a process for us to be able to assess whether your own orientation training meets criteria.  If approved, you will then be able to have your staff complete your own orientation training instead of the Better Kid Care Orientation Training.  We will let you know when we have more information about this.
 

Update from Northern Lights at CCV

Northern Lights at CCV has been busy preparing for 2018.  Please see Director Becky Millard's letter sharing information about support services and trainings (http://ccv.edu/2017/12/22/new-january-2018-northern-lights-ccv/). 

 

New Frequently Asked Questions

I need to hire for a CBCCPP Teacher Assistant position.  What do I do if I can't find someone who has already completed the Fundamentals for Early Childhood Professionals' course?

Is my staff and/or I required to send our high school diplomas or GED certificates to Northern Lights at CCV to be entered into our BFIS Quality and Credential accounts?

I am the director of a CBCCPP program that has a licensed capacity over 12 children.  We do not have a business manager and I meet the director qualifications.  Do I need to do any additional education?