Know Your Child Care Facility

Information provided by Florida Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation and Background Screening

Every licensed child care facility must meet the minimum state child care licensing standards pursuant to s. 402.305, F.S., and ch. 65C-22, F.A.C., which include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Valid license posted for parents to see.
  • All staff appropriately screened.
  • Maintain appropriate transportation vehicles (if transportation is provided).
  • Provide parents with written disciplinary practices used by the facility.
  • Provide access to the facility during normal hours of operation.
  • Maintain minimum staff-to-child ratios:

Age of Child                                  Child: Teacher Ratio

Infant                                             4:1

1 year old                                      6:1

2 year old                                     11:1

3 year old                                     15:1

4 year old                                     20:1

5 year old and up                         25:1

 

Health Related Requirements

Emergency procedures that include:

  • Posting Florida Abuse Hotline number along with other emergency numbers.
  • Staff trained in first aid and Infant/Child CPR on the premises at all times.
  • Fully stocked first aid kit.
  • A working fire extinguisher and documented monthly fire drills with children and staff.

Medication and hazardous materials are inaccessible and out of children’s reach.

Training Requirements

  • 40-hour introductory child care training.
  • 10-hour in-service training annually.
  • 5 continuing education unit of approved training or 5 clock hours of training in early literacy and language development.
  • Director Credential for all facility directors.

Food & Nutrition

Post a meal and snack menu that provides daily nutritional needs of the children (if meals are provided).

Record Keeping

Maintain accurate records that include:

  • Children’s health exam/immunization record.
  • Medication records.
  • Enrollment information.
  • Personnel records.
  • Daily attendance.
  • Accidents and incidents.
  • Parental permission for field trips and administration of medications.

Physical Environment

  • Maintain sufficient usable indoor floor space for playing, working, and napping.
  • Provide space that is clean and free of litter and other hazards.
  • Maintain sufficient lighting and inside temperatures.
  • Equip with age and developmentally appropriate toys.
  • Provide appropriate bathroom facilities and other furnishings.
  • Provide isolation area for children who become ill.
  • Practice proper hand washing, toileting, and diapering activities.

Quality child care offers healthy, social, and educational experiences under qualified supervision in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment.

Children in these settings participate in daily, age-appropriate activities that help develop essential skills, build independence and instill self-respect. When evaluating the quality of a child care setting, the following indicators should be considered: 

Quality Activities

  • Are children initiated and teacher facilitated.
  • Include social interchanges with all children.
  • Are expressive including play, painting, drawing, story telling, music, dancing, and other varied activities.
  • Include exercise and coordination development.
  • Include free play and organized activities.
  • Include opportunities for all children to read, be creative, explore, and problem-solve.

 

Quality Caregivers

  • Are friendly and eager to care for children.
  • Accept family cultural and ethnic differences.
  • Are warm, understanding, encouraging, and responsive to each child’s individual needs.
  • Use a pleasant tone of voice and frequently hold, cuddle, and talk to the children.
  • Help children manage their behavior in a positive, constructive, and non-threatening manner.
  • Allow children to play alone or in small groups.
  • Are attentive to and interact with the children.
  • Provide stimulating, interesting, and educational activities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of social and emotional needs and developmental tasks for all children.
  • Communicate with parents.

 

Quality Environments

  • Are clean, safe, inviting, comfortable, child-friendly.
  • Provide easy access to age-appropriate toys.
  • Display children’s activities and creations.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment that fosters the growing independence of all children.

 

Parent’s Role

A parent’s role in quality child care is vital:

  • Inquire about the qualifications and experience of child care staff, as well as staff turnover.
  • Know the facility’s policies and procedures.
  • Communicate directly with caregivers.
  • Visit and observe the facility.
  • Participate in special activities, meetings, and conferences.
  • Talk to your child about their daily experiences in child care.
  • Arrange alternate care for their child when they are sick.
  • Familiarize yourself with the child care standards used to license the child care facility.

 

Access more information and free resources on this topic from the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The Children’s Services Council of Broward County is an independent taxing authority which was established by a public referendum on September 5, 2000, and reauthorized via referendum on November 4, 2014, which, through Public Act, Chapter 2000-461 of the laws of Florida, authorized the Council to levy up to 0.5 mills of property taxes. The role of the Council is to provide the leadership, advocacy and resources necessary to enhance children’s lives and empower them to become responsible, productive adults through collaborative planning and funding of a continuum of quality care. To learn more about programs and services the Children’s Services Council funds, please call (954) 377-1000.  

Above content provided by Children’s Services Council of Broward County.

 

 

 

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