Spring 2017 Child Care Licensing Newsletter
The Licensing Unit at CDD has seen many changes in the last 6 months starting with staffing. I'm excited to have stepped into the Director of Child Care Licensing role in December. With so many projects underway, it continues to be busy. Donna Lopiccolo stepped up into the field Licensing Supervisor position, and Shanna Smith has been hired to fill the vacant Licensing Field Specialist position effective April 30, 2017. We are in the process of hiring for the Licensing Supervisor position.
In addition to staff changes, on September 1, 2016, all licensed and registered programs have had new regulations implemented which includes Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs (CBCCPP), Family Child Care Homes (FCCH), and Afterschool Programs (ASP). CDD mailed a copy of the new regulations to each licensed and registered program. Additional copies continue to be available at your local child care referral agency.
Throughout the fall, licensing staff received training on the new regulations. A huge thank to the many, many programs who applied to host mock compliance visits. We identified 10 CBCCPPs and 10 FCCHs around the state to visit. We want to thank each of these programs who participated in a mock compliance visit. We are especially appreciative for the positive feedback from the programs that participated who shared how they also benefited from this process.
With all the changes, we have found it challenging to send a newsletter. I apologize for this. Moving forward, we are working to become more proactive in our ongoing communication with you. Next week we will be sending a email with tips we find helpful for programs related to licensing. Thank you for your understanding and patience!
Director of Child Care Licensing
When BFIS changes were implemented in January, this created a backlog of data entering background clearance results in BFIS. Record checks have been processed in a timely manner, and CDD has immediately notified programs when a clearance has resulted in a prohibited person being identified. In the last month, Licensing Technicians have entered 60% of the backlogged clearances into BFIS. We anticipate eliminating the backlog in the next month.
Starting March 14th, CDD has begun fingerprinting new applicants, newly hired staff in any licensed or registered program, and will begin reaching out to community based prequalified preschool programs to fingerprint any remaining staff not fingerprinted by CDD in the fall. CDD staff will notify you through BFIS if a staff person is required to be fingerprinted. If CDD issues the Fingerprint Authorization Certificate to an individual with instructions on how to complete the fingerprint process, it is required for the individual to complete the process. Please reach out to your licensing technician at CDD if there are questions on this process. In a few months, we will implement the next stage of fingerprinting by reaching out to existing licensed and registered programs.
Guidance Manuals for Center Based and Family Child Care Regulations
CDD has been working intensely with a consulting firm to create guidance manuals to help Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs (CBCCPP) and Family Child Care Homes (FCCH) with the child care licensing regulations. Licensed and registered providers, community partners, and CDD staff have participated in developing these manuals. By the end of March, the final drafts will be delivered to CDD by consulting firm. The drafts will undergo a formatting and final editing review to meet State of Vermont formatting requirements. Then they will be sent out for printing. Each CBCCPP and FCCH will receive a copy of the guidance manual by mail by summer. You will find the guidance manuals filled with examples of what compliance may look like, clarity on what is required and why, as well as resources. CDD has begun to upload some sample forms to our website (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/forms-child-care-providers and http://dcf.vermont.gov/childcare/providers/health-safety). Feel free to use the samples and/or modify them to meet your needs. In the upcoming months, more sample forms will be added to our website.
Training on the New Regulations
Family Child Care Providers and licensees of Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs are required to attend a training on the new regulations. The title of the training that meets this requirement is "Here We Go: New CBCCPP/FCCH Licensing Rules." We piloted the training at the VAEYC and Non-Recurring Care Conferences in October and December. While we had planned on providing an online version of this training, we found this more challenging than anticipated. We are working with Vermont Birth to Five to assist us with scheduling FCCH and CBCCPP in-person trainings on the new regulations in the various areas around the state. In addition, we will be scheduling two FCCH and two CBCCPP online classes. When training dates and details have been finalized, an additional email will be sent.
- Family Child Care Home rule 1.3.3 only requires Family Child Care Providers to attend these trainings. Due to the number of Family Child Care Providers who are required to complete this training, enrollment will be limited to Family Child Care Providers only in the Family Child Care training for now.
- Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs rule 1.3.4 only requires licensees to attend these trainings. If the licensee of a CBCCPP is a corporation or other legal entity (other than an individual), the representative for the licensee is required by CBCCP rule 1.3.4 to attend this training. Due to the number of licensees who are required to complete this training, enrollment will be limited to only CBCCPP licensees in the Center Based Training for now.
- In addition to the "Here We Go: New CBCCPP/FCCH Licensing Rules" training, licensing staff also provide a "Fundamentals Licensing Regulation" training. If you are a FCCP and/or licensee who is required to complete the Fundamentals Course, please sign up to take "Here We Go: New CBCCPP/FCCH Licensing Rules" training instead of the "Fundamentals Licensing Regulation" training.By taking "Here We Go: New CBCCPP/FCCH Licensing Rules" training, you will meet the requirement by FCCH rule 1.3.3 or CBCCP rule 1.3.4 and will meet the Fundamentals licensing class requirement.
CDD is working with Better Kid Care to develop an online training (approximately 10 hours) that meets the Orientation training requirement which is required to be completed by staff per FCCH/CBCCPP rule 7.1.3 and Afterschool Programs (ASP) rule 5.31. When this is available, an email with information on how to access it will be sent to all programs. All staff are required to complete this training. Separate from this training, program directors are required to ensure that staff have received, reviewed, and understand the program's specific written policies and procedures.
College Course Requirements
Northern Lights Career Development Center (NLCDC) and CDD have collaborated on developing the criteria by which courses will be assessed to determine if they meet the course requirements in qualifications. This process has been completed. Information about common courses for program directors is available here: http://northernlightscdc.org/your-role/program-directors-2/ If you question whether a course will meet the requirement in regulations, please consult with NLCDC staff. For NLCDC staff contact information: http://northernlightscdc.org/about-vnl/contact-us/
Emergency Preparedness Training
This training is required by regulations, however the regulations do not require the training to be approved by CDD. The reason for requiring this training is so Family Child Care Providers and licensees have guidance on how to write strong emergency response plans. A training that covers a diverse array of emergencies (e.g. natural disasters, simple power outages, intruder, etc) will best equip you with writing a strong emergency response plan. The licensing rule does require the training include sheltering in place at a minimum.
- If qualified personnel involved with emergency management is willing to facilitate an emergency preparedness training, it is best if they collaborate with a NLCDC sponsor to ensure the training meets criteria for being entered into providers' BFIS Quality and Credential accounts.
- There are many emergency management personnel who may be able to give you tips for completing your Emergency Response Plan. Please remember that this is your plan which should be unique to your program. Please use emergency management personnel as a resource and remember you are responsible for writing your own Emergency Response Plan.
- While the Licenser on Duty (LOD) line is available each day, this is not an emergency line. Please don't wait until you have a power outage or other type of emergency to call LOD to find out what to do in that emergency. At this point, it is too late because you need to be acting not calling for guidance.