August 2017 Licensing Newsletter

29 August 2017

Contents of this Newsletter:

Message from the Licensing Director:

As the end of summer draws near and school is about to start, I'm reminded that September 1st is just a couple of weeks away.  Nearly a year ago, we implemented 3 new sets of regulations:  Afterschool (ASP), Family Child Care Home (FCCH), and Center Based Child Care and Preschool Programs (CBCCPP)!  I want to start by congratulating everyone for completing this past year.  Change challenges us and can be stressful and overwhelming at times.  Thank you to everyone that has worked with us through this year!  We have all been learning side-by-side, made our own mistakes, and have had many conversations along the way.

Guess what's here…FCCH and CBCCPP Guidance Manuals!  If you want to start using them, please feel free to access them on our CDD website (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/laws-regs/childcare).  As soon as we get the hard copies from the printers, we will mail one copy to each program.  Your local Referral Specialist will also receive copies so if you would like an extra copy, please pick them up at your local Referral Specialist's office.  If they run out, CDD will send them more copies so feel free to help yourself to as many additional copies as you need.  They are filled with resources to support you and your program!  They are organized in the same order as your licensing regulation book and the table of content tells you which licensing rules are included in the guidance manual.  The last appendix in the guidance manuals is an Index to the Licensing Regulations by key word.  Thank you to everyone that contributed to the development process of the FCCH and CBCCPP Guidance Manuals!  We couldn't have accomplished this without you!
 
We have seen a significant increase in LOD (licensor on duty) calls which is fantastic!  Please continue to call LOD for questions about licensing regulations and processes.  A Licensor is available to answer calls Monday – Friday from 8am to 4:30pm (800-649-2642 option 3).  The call volume is high enough that you should anticipate needing to leave a message.  Often the Licensor is on the phone with another caller.  We welcome your questions and appreciate the opportunity to answer them.  Please continue to call LOD with your questions and concerns.  We want to continue working with you in this way!
 
Who's who for licensing staff:

  • Recently Licensors' territories changed.  While we didn’t want to make this change during this first year of new licensing regulations, we had a change in staffing which made this necessary.  If you are not sure who your Licensor is, please use this link to find out:  http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/whos_who (scroll down to "Licensing" and click on "Click here for a chart of Vermont towns and licensing staff assigned to those towns."). 
  • This chart will also let you know who your Licensing Technician is.  Your Licensing Technician processes background clearances and applications for your program.  On July 24th, we welcomed Lacey Osborne.  Lacey is a Licensing Technician who is quickly learning everything she needs to know.  We are excited to welcome Lacey!
  • You may also feel free to contact one of our Licensing Supervisors.  Kelly Lyford and Donna Lopiccolo supervise the Licensors with Kelly covering the north and Donna the south.  Jonathan Boyd supervises the Licensing Technicians. 
  • Each person's contact information is listed in this link http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/whos_who.

Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) Resources:

As you write your IPDP and/or assist staff with writing their IPDPs, there are a variety of resources to support this process:

  • Vermont Afterschool is available to assist individuals, working with school age children, with accessing resources and learning about professional development options and trainings.  You will also find that they have a variety of other supports and resources on their webpage (http://www.vermontafterschool.org/) for example they provide onsite coaching for afterschool programs that want to apply for STARS or increase in STARS level.  Please contact Tricia Pawlik-York at triciapawlikyork@vermontafterschool.org to learn more.
  • Vermont Birth to Five (http://vermontbirthtofive.org/programs/professional-development/ or (802) 540-8168) provides support services on finding professional development opportunities.
  • CDD's website has a variety of resources and information:  http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/professional-development.  We have a new webpage titled "Child Care Training Requirements" (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/professional-development/requirements).  This new webpage provides information about various trainings required by licensing regulations. 
  • NLCDC (http://northernlightscdc.org/) is always available to assist you in a variety of ways.  Their website provides guidance, examples and tutorials on how to complete your IPDP as well as how to enter it in your BFIS Quality and Credential account (http://northernlightscdc.org/career-pathways/ipdp-individual-professional-development-plan/). NLCDC staff can assist you with having professional development documents entered in your BFIS Quality and Credential account, provide guidance with professional development planning, and assist you with seeking and/or learning about trainings and/or resources to support your professional development plans.   Please note that it is your responsibility to either have your IPDP on file at your ASP, CBCCPP or FCCH or to enter it yourself into your BFIS Quality and Credential account.  Northern Lights staff cannot enter your IPDP in BFIS.

 I bet you are wondering what happens next since 9/1/2017 is right around the corner.  Here's some highlights:

Fingerprinting and Record Check Tips:

We have fully implemented fingerprinting for new hires, applicants and for public school prequalified prekindergarten programs.  Next, we will be issuing Fingerprint Authorization Certificates (FAC) for staff in private prequalified prekindergarten programs that haven't already been fingerprinted by CDD.  Please note that you may not be fingerprinted for CDD without the FAC form issued by us.  When it has been issued, you will receive a BFIS system generated email that you have a new document.  When you print the FAC form, it will include the FAC form needed when you submit to fingerprinting, a sheet with tips on it, and a brochure on where you may be fingerprinted.

  • You must bring your FAC form with you when getting fingerprinted.  You will need to sign the FAC form in front of the law enforcement officer taking your fingerprints.  If you forget to sign this form at the time of fingerprinting, it will slow down the process.
  • You are required to pay any fee charged by the law enforcement agency for taking your fingerprints.  CDD does not cover this fee.  This fee may be up to $25.00 depending on the location.  On the FAC form, it says that CDD will pay the fee charged by Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) to process the fingerprints and send results to CDD.  This fee is in addition to the fee assessed by the law enforcement agency.

If you or your staff have not been provided the FAC form by CDD through your program's BFIS account, you may not submit to fingerprinting.

Record Check Tips:

Make sure your Associated Parties list in your program's BFIS account is up-to-date.  If staff are no longer employed or working in your program, please remove them from your Associated Parties list. 
When having staff complete the Record Check Authorization form, please have staff write clearly.  It is important that we can read names, social security numbers, email addresses, and etcetera. 
If an individual's position title is not correct in your program's BFIS account, please email your Licensing Technician and ask them to update the individual's position title.

Orientation Training:

CDD has been working with Better Kid Care to develop an online Orientation Training.  As soon as it is ready for you to complete, we will let you know.  Please complete the Mandatory Reporter Training (http://dcf.vermont.gov/protection/reporting/mandated) if you haven't done so already.  This is a required training which is available now and separate from the Orientation Training.  Remember to send the certificate of completion you receive from this online training to NLCDC to be entered into your BFIS Quality and Credential account using the Professional Development Verification Cover Sheet (http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/professional-development).

Variances:

We know how busy you have been with achieving compliance with licensing regulations.  If there is a regulation in which you need additional time to achieve compliance, now is the time to submit a variance request.  Please consider whether a variance is needed before filing one.  For example, if you have not been able to purchase cushioning material for the outside play structure, a variance is not needed.  You and/or staff would simply need to provide alternative activities for children.  The play structure doesn't need to be taken down especially if you are budgeting to purchase cushioning material.  If children are not using the play structure, you are in compliance with licensing rules.
 
If you are a FCCH, you are required to comply with qualifications as of 9/1/2017.  If you or staff need additional time, please request a variance.  Don't worry if you are filing your variance in September, we understand how hard you have been working and want to support your continued success with achieving compliance.  In your variance request, be realistic about what you need for additional time.  If you are working towards obtaining your high school diploma, you may need an additional year.  We will support this.  If you are taking Fundamentals, you may need until mid-January 2018 to complete the fall class and have it documented in your BFIS Quality and Credential account.  We will also support this.  In your variance request, please include what you have done to achieve compliance with licensing regulations and please be sure to either have a current IPDP in your BFIS Quality and Credential account or to attach a current IPDP to your variance request.  Danny Kenney (danny.kenney@vermont.gov) can assist you with attaching documents to your variance request if you have experience any challenges with this.
 
CBCCPP staff have another year to finish coursework to meet new qualifications.  Please do not try to do too much at once.  For example, one college course a semester is doable.    If more time is needed beyond 9/1/2018, a variance can always be filed in the summer of 2018.  We want to support you being successful and understand many of you are working full time and that you have a personal life too.

Frequently Asked Questions:

CDD has added some new answers to the Frequently Asked Questions section on the child care licensing regulations.