Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring 2017 Update

Hello World!

Our newest little one, Zadie, has joined the GFC family. Thank you for your patience over the last few months. We've been a bit busy with extra cuddles and getting to know her.



I'm starting to work on updating the website information, contracts, & parent handbook for the 2017-18 school year.

There are a few part time spots for toddlers and preschoolers over the summer. Full time & part time spots will be available for ages 6 months - 3 1/2 years beginning in September.

School age spots will be reserved for siblings of enrolled infant/toddler/preschoolers. At this time, those two spots are filled.





Some exciting changes coming up for next year:

Averaged Monthly Billing - This means I will calculate each families tuition for the year, then divide by the number of months enrolled. Families will pay the same amount each month, regardless of the actual days of programming in that particular month.

Flexible Payment Options - Invoices will be sent monthly. Families will be able to choose to pay from their checking account online or with a credit/debit card online.

Infant & Toddler Fun - Enrollment and programming will be geared towards our younger friends, specifically designed for those under 3.5 years old.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Baby Announcement!






The Can You Say That in English Please? series will continue in a few weeks. Keep an eye out for the next section: DEEC FCC Regulations 2010 - Can you say this in English, please? 7.06 Curriculum and Progress Reports.


For those who don't know, we are expecting a new little bundle in early March! New enrollments are on hold for the time being and the following memo addresses the upcoming closures related to our little girl's arrival.

New enrollment will begin in June for infants, ages 3 months-14 months, and toddlers, 15 months-30 months.


Maternity Leave Memo


We are so excited to be welcoming our new little girl to the world soon! So far, things are happening “on schedule,” but we all know that babies make their own timelines. In order to help your family plan, here is what will be available for child care with me over the next few months. The schedule is based on a due date of March 2.
Should I go into labor while children are here, my backup emergency person will come in. One of us will call parents for pick up and the backup care person will stay until you arrive.



January
Regular schedule will continue
Mon Jan 16 - GFC closed
February
Billing will switch to weekly payments, due the Friday before that week begins
Payments will be due Feb 3, Feb 10, Feb 17 - so long as baby doesn’t come early
Mon Feb 20 - GFC closed
Feb 21-24 will be full day care for school age children over Mid-Winter Break*
Feb 24 will be the last day of child care before I take my scheduled leave

March
There will be no child care and no tuition due for March 2017
GFC will be CLOSED Monday February 27 - Friday March 31
Monthly billing will resume on Fri March 31

April
Pending Ali & baby’s health, GFC will resume limited hours on Monday April 3
Fri Apr 14 & Mon Apr 17 - GFC closed
Full time care will not be available for school age children over April Break**
Expected hours***: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 830am-5pm
Tuesday, Friday: 3pm-5pm
May
Mon May 1 - GFC will resume regular full time hours


*If your school age child will not be attending GFC full time over February break, please let me know so that I can plan accordingly.
** GFC will not provide full time school age care April 18-21. Please make other arrangements.
*** Expected hours are based on current enrollment. If your children’s attendance is changing, please let me know so I can plan accordingly.

Thank you everyone for your support and understanding during this exciting time. We’ll be sure to post a few updates and pictures on Facebook!
Image result for baby girl clip art

Monday, November 14, 2016

DEEC FCC Regulations 2010 - Can you say this in English, please? 7.05 Interactions Among Educators and Children




This article looks at Massachusetts regulations and policies for licensed family child care providers. All information will be presented in English, however regulations can be found in Spanish and Portuguese by visiting this page.


DEEC FCC Regulations 2010
Can you say this in English, please?


In the field of family child care, there are people from many backgrounds. Experience, education, and motivation is different for every provider. While the regulations and policies that have to be followed are available online and in print when requested, it can be difficult to pin point exactly what the State is looking for.

This is especially true for regulations that are purposefully ambiguous. Why would the State do that? It is frustrating for many providers who just want to be following the legal requirements for their business. The purpose for ambiguous regulations is so that the DEEC, Department of Early Education and Care, can apply the regulations as stringently as possible in the best interest of the children involved.

HEY! I thought you were going to do this in English?

Sorry. The rule that works in one home to provide the safest environment, might not work in another home. The rules need to be just a little flexible so that the greatest amount of caution can be applied, as needed.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of regulations, but they are really the basics for providing a safe and healthy environment for young children. If you have ventured down the path for higher levels of QRIS or NAFCC accreditation, then you know there is plenty of room for more stringent rules, guidelines, and policies.



My Goal:

I'd like to make a list of the current regulations (November 2016) that is easily read. It is not meant as a replacement of the official regulations and should not be used as the sole resource for setting up your child care. As a provider, it is your responsibility to know, understand, and adhere to these regulations. Your license is proof of your agreement and ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for young children. Any variance from that agreement could lead to non-compliance reports, suspension of license, revoking of license, or a 51A report made to DCF.

These are the sections of 606 CMR 7

7.01 Introduction
7.02 Definitions
7.03 Licensure and Approval
7.04 Administration
7.05 Interactions Among Educators and Children
7.06 Curriculum and Progress Reports
7.07 Physical Facility Requirements
7.08 Family Involvement
7.09 Educator Qualifications and Development
7.10 Ratios, Group Sizes and Supervision
7.11 Health and Safety
7.12 Nutrition and Food Service
7.13 Transportation
7.14 Applicability and Effective Date


This is one of the shortest sections of regulations. I changed almost nothing, because it is fairly straightforward. If you are having difficulty with any of the regulations in this section, please email garrisonfamilycare@gmail.com and I will do my best to help come up with a solution that fits your needs.


The following is an abbreviated version of a single section of family child care regulations.


7.05 Interactions Among Educators and Children.
The following requirements apply to all programs, including family child care, small group and school age and large group and school age child care.

(1) You must pay attention to and care for each child's individual needs. Help them to develop self-esteem, express themselves, independence, social skills, and school readiness.

(2) You must be nurturing and responsive to the children.

  • frequently expressing warmth to individual children through behaviors such as holding babies, social conversations (including response to babies’ vocalizations), joint laughter, eye contact, and smiles, and communicating at children’s eye level; 
  • providing attentive, consistent, comforting, and culturally sensitive care; 
  • being consistent and predictable in their physical and emotional care of children, and when implementing program rules and expectations; 
  • recognizing signs of stress in children’s behavior and responding with appropriate stress-reducing activities. 

(3) You have to support their development of self-esteem, independence, and self-regulation by:

  • demonstrating courtesy and respect when interacting with children and adults; 
  • encouraging appropriate expression of emotions, both positive (e.g. joy, pleasure, excitement) and negative (e.g., anger, frustration and sadness); 
  • providing opportunities for children to develop self-help skills as they are ready; encouraging children’s efforts, work and accomplishments; 
  • assuring that all children have equal opportunities to take part in all activities and use all materials; 
  • offering opportunities for children to make choices and decisions. 

(4) You must help children develop social skills by:

  • promoting interaction and language use among children and between children and adults by talking to and with children frequently; 
  • encouraging children to share experiences and ideas; 
  • modeling cooperation, problem-solving strategies and responsible behavior for children; 
  • assisting children in learning social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and working together; 
  • encouraging children to listen to, help, and support each other;
  • providing guidance to assist children in resolving conflicts, finding solutions to problems, and making decisions. 
  • helping children to understand and respect people different from themselves; 
  • helping children learn to respect each other’s possessions and work; 
  • helping children to learn effective ways to deal with bullying, teasing, or other forms of intolerance. 

(5) You must discipline through guidance. You must have positive and consistent responses to behavior. You must base your guidance on the child's abilities and needs.  

  • encouraging self-control and using positive child guidance techniques such as recognizing and reinforcing children’s appropriate behaviors, having reasonable and positive expectations, setting clear and consistent limits, and redirecting; 
  • helping children learn social, communication, and emotional regulation skills they can use in place of challenging behaviors; 
  • using environmental modifications, activity modifications, adult or peer support, and other teaching strategies to encourage appropriate behavior and prevent challenging behaviors; 
  • intervening quickly when children are physically aggressive with one another and helping them develop more positive strategies for resolving conflict; 
  • explaining rules and procedures and the reasons for them to children, and where appropriate and feasible, allowing children to participate in the establishment of program rules, policies and procedures; 
  • discussing behavior management techniques among staff to promote consistency. 

(6) You need to have a way to communicate well with each child. This could be spoken language, pictures, sign language, ACC, etc.

(7) The guidance you give must be for the purpose of helping the child grow and develop. You must be protect the group and individual children.

(8) Do NOT do these things. The following practices are strictly prohibited:

  • spanking or other corporal punishment of children;
  • subjecting children to cruel or severe punishment such as humiliation, verbal or physical abuse, neglect, or abusive treatment including any type of physical hitting inflicted in any manner upon the body, shaking, threats, or derogatory remarks; 
  • depriving children of outdoor time, meals or snacks; force feeding children or otherwise making them eat against their will, or in any way using food as a consequence; 
  • disciplining a child for soiling, wetting, or not using the toilet; forcing a child to remain in soiled clothing or to remain on the toilet, or using any other unusual or excessive practices for toileting; 
  • confining a child to a swing, high chair, crib, playpen or any other piece of equipment for an extended period of time in lieu of supervision; and 
  • excessive time-out. Time-out may not exceed one minute for each year of the child's age and must take place within an educator’s view.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

DEEC FCC Regulations 2010 - Can you say this in English, please? 7.04 Administration




This article looks at Massachusetts regulations and policies for licensed family child care providers. All information will be presented in English, however regulations can be found in Spanish and Portuguese by visiting this page.


DEEC FCC Regulations 2010
Can you say this in English, please?


In the field of family child care, there are people from many backgrounds. Experience, education, and motivation is different for every provider. While the regulations and policies that have to be followed are available online and in print when requested, it can be difficult to pin point exactly what the State is looking for.

This is especially true for regulations that are purposefully ambiguous. Why would the State do that? It is frustrating for many providers who just want to be following the legal requirements for their business. The purpose for ambiguous regulations is so that the DEEC, Department of Early Education and Care, can apply the regulations as stringently as possible in the best interest of the children involved.

HEY! I thought you were going to do this in English?

Sorry. The rule that works in one home to provide the safest environment, might not work in another home. The rules need to be just a little flexible so that the greatest amount of caution can be applied, as needed.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of regulations, but they are really the basics for providing a safe and healthy environment for young children. If you have ventured down the path for higher levels of QRIS or NAFCC accreditation, then you know there is plenty of room for more stringent rules, guidelines, and policies.



My Goal:

I'd like to make a list of the current regulations (November 2016) that is easily read. It is not meant as a replacement of the official regulations and should not be used as the sole resource for setting up your child care. As a provider, it is your responsibility to know, understand, and adhere to these regulations. Your license is proof of your agreement and ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for young children. Any variance from that agreement could lead to non-compliance reports, suspension of license, revoking of license, or a 51A report made to DCF.

These are the sections of 606 CMR 7

7.01 Introduction
7.02 Definitions
7.03 Licensure and Approval
7.04 Administration
7.05 Interactions Among Educators and Children
7.06 Curriculum and Progress Reports
7.07 Physical Facility Requirements
7.08 Family Involvement
7.09 Educator Qualifications and Development
7.10 Ratios, Group Sizes and Supervision
7.11 Health and Safety
7.12 Nutrition and Food Service
7.13 Transportation
7.14 Applicability and Effective Date

The following is an abbreviated version of a single section of family child care regulations.

*Note* A large part of this section is going over what you need in your children's files. Almost all of the information can be found in the Enrollment Packet and Sample Forms Packet. Some of the most common exceptions are ongoing medical issues, custody agreements, IFSP/IEP's, and alternate or lack of immunizations.


7.04 Administration

7.04 Administration.
(1) You need to have the right qualifications to run a child care. If you have staff, they must also have the correct qualifications. You can only care for children as it is listed on your license.

(2) Unauthorized Activities. Things you cannot do.
You need written parent permission for children to do non-child care activities. Activities you need written permission for include, but are not limited to:

  • fund raising
  • publicity, including photographs and participation in the mass media
  • screening, research or unusual treatment.

You need written parent permission to give out or publish pictures and/or descriptions of the children in your care.

(3) Transitions. This is for transitions into your program, to a different part of your program, or out of your program.
You have to help the child get ready for the change.

  • Get the parent's permission and talk to the new care giver about the child.
  • Help the child understand the change that is happening in a way that they will understand.

You have to give the parents a specific reason in writing for terminating or suspending a child from your care. You must include any information about how or when a child care return.

(4) Record Requirements.
You need to keep written records of these things in your FCC file.

  • daily attendance for each child, include when they are dropped off and picked up
  • a method of knowing exactly who is present on the premises at any given point in the day
  • write down when you do fire drills

You need to keep your records organized

  • write neatly, sign and date each thing in your FCC file
  • Update your files at least once a year, unless the regulations say to do it more often

Keep attendance records for 5 years
Keep children's files for 5 years
If a child leaves, you must provide a copy of their file, if the parents request it


(5) Staff Records. You have to keep a file for every person on your staff, including you
You need a physical and immunization record for each staff person, you need a written statement of any limitations an employee has.
You need copies of licenses, certifications and registrations held, including, but not limited to, motor vehicle operator’s license (if the staff member transports children) and EEC educator qualification.
You need copies of certificates or PQ registry summary for orientation, training, and professional development.


(6) Transportation Records. If you use vehicles to transport children, you need a copy of each vehicles current registration, inspection, and insurance


(7) Children’s Records. You need an organized file for each child. It has to include the following things:

(a) Enrollment Packet - There are several pages and they must all be filled out completely by the parent.
  •  a-i: All of the required items are part of the sample enrollment packet that DEEC provides. Save yourself some time and use their form: http://www.mass.gov/edu/docs/eec/licensing/forms/family-child-care/family-child-care-enrollment-packet.pdf
  • If there is a parent that cannot pick up or contact the child, then copies of any custody agreements, court orders, and restraining orders pertaining to the child must be in their file.
  • consent for the child’s transportation plan, This will be discussed in section 7.13. There is a basic transportation permission section on page 6 of the enrollment packet.
  • permission to transport a child to a medical facility and for the child to receive emergency medical treatment. This is on page 6 of the enrollment packet.
  • permission to administer basic first aid and/or CPR. This is on page 6 of the enrollment packet.
  • a list of any person(s) authorized in writing by the parent to take the child from the program or receive the child at the end of the day. This is on page 1 and 2 of the enrollment packet.
  • written parental consent for a child to participate in off-site activities. This is page 9 of the Sample Forms Packet.
  • written parental consent for older school age children to leave the program. This is page 5 of the Sample Forms Packet.
  • You need written permission before allowing observation of children by anyone other than yourself, your certified assistants, or regular assistants. There is no form in the Sample Forms Packet. If it is for a single child, then that parent can provide a written note. If it is a general observation that will not single out any children, then you can make a general permission form for all of the parents to sign. 
  • written consent for children to use an on-site swimming pool. This is page 10 of the Sample Forms Packet. This is for an actual swimming pool, not a wading pool or kiddie pool. There are rules especially for kiddie/wading pools that will be discussed in a later section.
  • written consent for the use of unanticipated, non-prescription and topical, non-prescription medications, if applicable. This is on page 6 of the enrollment packet.
  • written consent for children to sleep in the same room with children of the opposite sex during regular overnight care. There is no form for this. You will need to have the parent provide a written note that their child can sleep in the same room with the opposite gender at night.
  • medical records. (a-c) With in 1 month of the child's first day, you need a copy of their physical, immunization record, and lead test (For children 9mo-3yrs, for children age 4 *if* they live in a high risk environment for lead. The Department of Public Health determines if they are at high risk.). School age children enrolled in public school do not need to provide this information. This is page 8 of the enrollment packet, but most doctors will print the information on their own letterhead. You can use this in place of page 8 of the enrollment packet.
  • developmental history and daily schedule. This is on pages 4-5 of the enrollment packet.
  • Include a statement in your handbook about having an open door policy. Have the parents sign that they received a copy of the handbook. This is on page 3 of the enrollment packet.
(b) Ongoing records. Some things will be added to each child's file during the year. Once a year you will have to update their file. This includes page 2 of the Sample Forms Packet.
  • annual physical examinations, updated immunizations, and lead screening
  • If the parents give it to you, keep a copy of their results of vision, hearing and dental screenings. If you give those screenings at your program, you will need prior parental permission, to insure that the screenings are conducted by qualified personnel; and communicate the results to the parents in writing.
  • a record of any medications administered to the child. This is page 7 of the Sample Forms Packet.
  • documentation of parent notification of emergency treatment. Write an incident report for injuries. You can make your own or use page 11-12 of the Sample Forms Packet.
  • a copy of the child’s individual health care plan. If a child has an ongoing medical condition, such as an allergy, modifications for eating, special diet, physical disability, etc, then you will need a note from their doctor stating how to provide care for that condition.
  • a record of any referrals made. This is for referrals to outside specialists, such as social workers, early intervention teachers, etc. There is not a sample form for this. We will look at this in more detail in a later section.
  • documentation of parental authorizations. This is literally repeating the points above for the enrollment packet.
  • copies of injury and incident reports. Again, write incident reports, as stated above.
  • copies of periodic progress reports. All children in your care will need progress reports. Their age determines how often they will need one. We will look at this more closely in a later section. You can use these samples from the DEEC or do a narrative like this
  • copies of IFPS and IEP's as provided by parents. If you write an individual goals for a child, keep a copy of that.
  • all pertinent correspondence concerning the child. This could be letters the parents give you, emails from parents, therapists, or specialists, emails/letters from social workers or your system. 

(8) Children’s Record Exceptions. These are things you do not need and/or might be different depending on the families needs.

  • No immunization record is needed if there is a conflict of religious reasons or the child's doctor recommends that the child not have immunizations. Notice must be provided in writing for the child's file.
  • School age children can have either a note written by the parent that states their school has physical/immunization/lead screening information on file -or- the parents can provide a copy of their physical/immunization/lead screening for your file.

(9) Updating Records. Children's files must be updated at least one a year. This is on page 3 of the Sample Packet Form.


(10) Amending the Child’s Record
  • Parents can add, delete, or change things in their children's file at any time.
  • Parents can request a meeting to discuss their children's file and to clarify any objections they have about information in their child's file. 
  • You must give the parents written notice within one week if you are going to add, delete, or change things in their child's file as a result of your meeting with them. You must make those changes immediately.

(11) Charge for Copies. You can charge a reasonable fee if the parents request a copy of their child's file. Keep in mind that above in 4(2)(e), DEEC states that after a child leaves you must provide a copy of the child's file if the parents request it.


(12) Confidentiality and Distribution of Records and Information. Children's files and information is confidential.You may not give their information to people or talk about their information with people unless you have written permission from the parents. If the parents request to look at their child's record, you have to let them.
  • If the parents request to look at the child's file, you have to let them. If the court requests to look at the child's file, you have to notify the parents that it is happening. Only yourself, your staff, DEEC, and the court system, when subpoenaed, can look at the child's file without explicit written permission from the parents.
  • You have two business days to let parents look at the child's file after they ask for it. You have to let them look at the whole file; you cannot take things out so that they cannot see it.
  • If the parents request a copy of the child's file, you have to give it to them. The parents can request that you send it to someone other than themselves, like a social worker or early intervention specialist.
  • You have to keep track of who looks at and/or gets a copy of the child's file and when. Keep this record in their file.
  • The record of who gets to view a child's file needs to have: the name, signature, and position of the person releasing or distributing the information; the date; the portions of the record which were distributed or released; the purpose of such distribution or release; and the signature of the person to whom the information is distributed or released.
  • The only people who get to view the log are the child's parents, yourself (or your staff who takes care of children's files), and DEEC.

(13) Children with Disabilities. You have to accept applications for children who have special needs. You have to make reasonable accommodations in your program to care for children with special needs. You cannot turn a child away for the sole reason that they have special needs. If the parents gives you permission, you can talk to the local school district, early intervention provider, health provider, or social workers to determine you ability to care for a child with special needs. Based on what you know about the child and their needs, you must write down what specific accommodations you will have to make for the child. Examples of accommodations might include:
  • any change or modification in the child's participation in regular program activities
  • the size of the group the child is in, the teacher:child ratio
  • special equipment, materials, ramps, or aids needed
If you decide that you cannot care for a chid with special needs, you have to provide a written notice to the parents within 30 days of getting permission to talk to other professionals about the accommodations needed. The written notice has to state why the accommodations are not reasonable or would cause undue burden to the program. The written notice must include at least:
  • the reason for the decision
  • notification that the parents can request that DEEC review the written notice to make sure your decision is in compliance with this regulation
You must keep a copy of the letter in the child's file.
Toileting needs or the need for diapers cannot be considered an undue burden. You cannot turn a child away because they are not toilet trained.

You must consider the following items when deciding if you can care for a child with disabilities:
  • What would it cost you to make the needed accommodations?
  • Can you get funding and/or services to help make the accommodations?
  • What financial resources do you have to make these accommodations?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • How will the cost of caring for this child affect your expenses or resources? Could this decision affect you in ways other than your license, ie: being sued by the family?
  • Do the accommodations alter the fundamental nature of your program?
If the parents give you permission, you must work together with special needs providers (public school, early intervention, health providers, social workers, etc). This could include developing and reviewing the child's IFSP or IEP.

One person, either yourself or a staff person, must be the designated liaison for a child with a disability. It is the liaison's job to coordinate care between your program, others providing service, and the parents.


(14) Required Postings. The licensee must post the following information in an area easily visible to parents, educators, and visitors:

  •  “Call 911” reminder and the telephone number and address of the program, including the location of the program in the facility.
  • The telephone number of the Poison Control Center.
  • The name and telephone number of the emergency back-up person.
  • In a manner that protects the privacy of each child: 1. a list of all emergency or life saving medications, including but not limited to epinephrine auto-injectors, inhalers, and anti-seizure medications, that specifies to which children they belong; and 2 a list of allergies and/or other emergency medical information provided by the parent for each child.
  • The current license or approval.


(15) Notifications to the Department
Notification of Death or Serious Injury. You have to call your licensor immediately if there is a death, serious injury, reportable illness, or medication error.  You need to follow up your phone call with in 48 hours by telling your licensor about the incident in writing.

  • The death of any child which occurs while such child is in care, or resulting from an injury or event that occurred while the child was in care.
  • Any injury to any child which occurs during the hours while such child is in care and which requires hospitalization or emergency medical treatment.
  • The contagious illness of a child that is a reportable condition as set by theDivision of Communicable Disease Control, Department of Public Health.
  • Any medication error which occurred while the child was in care and which a. required hospitalization or emergency medical treatment, or b. which resulted in a child receiving the wrong medication.

Notification of Legal Proceedings.
You need to tell your licensor in writing if you, someone that lives with you, someone on your staff, or someone regularly at your house is involved in a legal proceeding (being sued. arrested, etc) if it is related to a child in your care or could change how your program is run. You have to contact them with in 5 days of the start of this process. This includes any criminal or delinquency complaints listed in DEEC's Background Record Check regulations, civil actions related to alleged abuse/neglect, or if any of the above listed people are in need or care and protection.

Notification of Change of Location or Telephone Number.
You must tell your licensor 10 days before changing your phone number or the location of your program. You might need to do a new application for license if you change your location. You have to be able to demonstrate that your new location meets all the requirements of your license.

Notification of Change in Program Space.
You must tell your licensor 30 days before using a different space for child care. If you cannot tell them 30 days in advance, you must tell them as soon as possible.

Notification of Failure to Renew Required Inspection Certificates.
You must tell your licensor if you do not pass an inspection (ie: fire, water, or building inspection) that interferes with your child care license.

Change of Location in Case of Emergency.
You must tell your licensor immediately by phone if you have to evacuate or seek alternate shelter due to fire or other emergency.

Notification of Law Enforcement Activity.
You must tell your licensor with in 24 hours if you or someone regularly at your house is involved in a police report or arrest that could impact the health, safety, and/or well being of the children in care. DEEC might request a copy of the police reports.

Notification of Response by Fire Department.
You must call your licensor within 24 hours of an incident that results in a response from the fire department. This does not include false alarms. DEEC might request a copy of the incident reports.

Notification of 51A Report.
You must notify your licensor as required in 606 CMR 7.11(4)(e & f ). We will look at this in more depth in a later section.

Action by the Internal Revenue Service.
You must tell your licensor in writing of any action brought against the licensee by the Internal Revenue Service.

Motor Vehicle Accident.
You must tell your licensor immediately of any accident involving the transportation of children when such transportation is provided or contracted by the licensee.

Notice of Intent to Close.
You must tell your licensor at least 30 days in advance if you plan to close you child care business. Your written plan must include your plan for notifying parents and your plan for storing/preserving all required records.


(16) Additional Requirements for Family Child Care.

  • You must tell your licensor if you join or leave a family child care system.
  • You must tell your licensor within 7 days of a change in household composition. This includes approval of foster o adoptive children. There is a change of household composition form in the Sample Forms Packet.
  • You must tell your licensor if a firearm is brought into your home.
  • You must tell your licensor if the Department of Public Health finds that your home is the source for lead poisoning for any child.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

DEEC FCC Regulations 2010 - Can you say this in English, please? 7.03 Licensure and Approval




This article looks at Massachusetts regulations and policies for licensed family child care providers. All information will be presented in English, however regulations can be found in Spanish and Portuguese by visiting this page.


DEEC FCC Regulations 2010
Can you say this in English, please?


In the field of family child care, there are people from many backgrounds. Experience, education, and motivation is different for every provider. While the regulations and policies that have to be followed are available online and in print when requested, it can be difficult to pin point exactly what the State is looking for.

This is especially true for regulations that are purposefully ambiguous. Why would the State do that? It is frustrating for many providers who just want to be following the legal requirements for their business. The purpose for ambiguous regulations is so that the DEEC, Department of Early Education and Care, can apply the regulations as stringently as possible in the best interest of the children involved.

HEY! I thought you were going to do this in English?

Sorry. The rule that works in one home to provide the safest environment, might not work in another home. The rules need to be just a little flexible so that the greatest amount of caution can be applied, as needed.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of regulations, but they are really the basics for providing a safe and healthy environment for young children. If you have ventured down the path for higher levels of QRIS or NAFCC accreditation, then you know there is plenty of room for more stringent rules, guidelines, and policies.



My Goal:

I'd like to make a list of the current regulations (November 2016) that is easily read. It is not meant as a replacement of the official regulations and should not be used as the sole resource for setting up your child care. As a provider, it is your responsibility to know, understand, and adhere to these regulations. Your license is proof of your agreement and ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for young children. Any variance from that agreement could lead to non-compliance reports, suspension of license, revoking of license, or a 51A report made to DCF.

These are the sections of 606 CMR 7

7.01 Introduction
7.02 Definitions 
7.03 Licensure and Approval
7.04 Administration
7.05 Interactions Among Educators and Children
7.06 Curriculum and Progress Reports
7.07 Physical Facility Requirements
7.08 Family Involvement
7.09 Educator Qualifications and Development
7.10 Ratios, Group Sizes and Supervision
7.11 Health and Safety
7.12 Nutrition and Food Service
7.13 Transportation
7.14 Applicability and Effective Date

The following is an abbreviated version of a single section of family child care regulations.

7.03 Licensure and Approval 

7.03: Licensure and Approval. There are the rules.

(1) Application for Licensure. You are responsible for following these rules. These rules are written to provide all children with a fair opportunity to do their best. You will only get a license if you do all of these things. Put a copy of all of these things in your FCC files so that your licensor can easily look through them when they visit.

(a) You have to put the health and safety of the children first. You need to read, know, and understand the full version of the regulations.

(b) You have to take Potential Provider's Meeting within 12 months of submitting your application. You have to take it before you apply for your license.

(c) You have to put all of the following papers in the same envelope with your license application:

1. 102 CMR 1.05(1)  You have to do a background check (CORI + fingerprinting). Any adults regularly at your house or that live with you will also need to do a background check.

2. You have to do activities with the children that the children are able to do and help them to learn. You need to have something that shows you are doing activities with the children, like a curriculum plan or calendar.

3. If a building inspector, fire inspector, or water source inspector provides a report to you, then you have to keep a copy in your FCC files. This includes heaters, fire places, and lead testing.

4. Make a parent handbook that includes all of the information listed in section 7.08(6). Keep a copy of your parent handbook in your FCC files. Give every parent a copy of the parent handbook.

5. Keep a file for each child. Include all of the information liste(d in section 7.04(7).

6. Register for a Tax ID number. (Note: Depending on how you file taxes, you can use your social security number in place of a Tax ID. Contact your accountant or tax specialist to determine what is best for you. Keep in mind, many parents request a Tax ID or social security number for their own taxes.)

7. You need to keep a file for volunteers that help in your child care. Their file needs to include: proof of orientation you gave them, how you supervise them, how they are trained, record of their service hours (including date, hours, and responsibilities), written notice/policy that volunteers will not be left alone with children, and a copy of their background check.

(2) Licensed Capacity. You cannot go over the maximum number of children listed on your license. Your assistants cannot go over their approved number of children for their license.

(3) Renewal. You have to turn in your renewal forms at least 30 days before your license expires. Your license will stay valid until you renewal visit so long as your paperwork is in on time. You must have a renewal visit to keep your license. You need to review the regulations (Hey! You're doing that right now! Yeah!), have all paperwork, files, and inspections must be up to date.

(4) Pilot or Demonstration Projects and Variances

(a) Pilot or Demonstration Project. If you want to do something different from what the regulations say, then you have to ask for permission in writing before doing it. DEEC might do a visit or ask for additional paperwork before approving or denying your request. If they let you do it, then you can only do it for the length of your license. If you do something different from the regulations without permission from DEEC, then they will cite you for non-compliance or end your special project.

(b) Variances during State of Emergency. DEEC can issue a special set of regulations/policy to follow in the case of an emergency. They will write to you, provide the information online, or broadcast the information. They will help you to understand and follow the regulations during the emergency.

(5) Additional Requirements for Family Child Care.

(a) Documents Required for Licensure. There are things you need to write down or make copies of for your FCC files.
1. copies of the lead paint disclosure statement
2. certification of current training in CPR and first aid
3. your physical and immunizations

(b) Duration of a License. A license lasts for 3 years, unless you are told differently.

(c) Determining Capacity. Your children and guests count in your ratio, depending on their age.
1. your children who are not yet in kindergarten count
2. your children who are home schooled, regardless of age
3. your children that are under the age of 10, if they are there for more than 3 consecutive hours on weekdays
4. any child that is not yours and under 14 and at your house during child care hours
5. if you provide overnight care, every person under the age of 18 is part of your ratio

(d) License Status. If you voluntarily stop doing child care, you can mail your license back to DEEC.  If you do that, then you have to request to get it back when you want to start working again. They might do a new inspection before giving it back. You have to get the license back to restart doing child care in your home.

(e) Location of Care. Family child care has to take place in a fully functioning, permanent residence where a person or people live.
1. You or someone you know must live in the home.
2. If no one lives in the home, then one of these there things must be true:
a. The child care space must be on the same property as your single family home, where you live full time.
b. You live full time in one side of a duplex and the child care is in the other side of the duplex.
c. You live full time in one part of a triple decker, there can be only one apartment on each level of the building, and the child care space is in one of the apartments in the same building. The building cannot have more than 3 levels.

(f) A family child care licensee may not hold more than one family child care license.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Now Hiring: Long Term Sub Position


DEEC Family Child Care Certified Assistant needed in Chelmsford. Part time hours to beginning in January, moving up to 30-40/hrs per week to cover maternity leave March-May. Hours will be between 730am-5pm Monday-Friday. Great position for someone interested in starting home based child care, a student, or nanny between jobs. I can help you through the licensing processes if needed. Current CPR/FA required.

Serious inquires send letter of interest and/or resume to garrisonfamilycare@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Documentation for Early Childhood Teachers



doc·u·men·ta·tion
ˌdäkyəmənˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. 1.
    material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record.
    "you will have to complete the relevant documentation"
  2. 2.
    the process of classifying and annotating texts, photographs, etc.
    "she arranged the collection and documentation of photographs"

Documentation.

It sounds boring. It sounds time consuming. Documentation sounds daunting, especially if you have a large group of children to work with.

This year, my personal goal for teaching is to improve my documenting skills. I don't just want to do better recordings of my observations, I want to enjoy doing it. 


When I started this program, I created this observation record to monitor behavior and to help write progress reports. I like the form, but it is clinical. It is a great tool to record behavior and social/emotional observations for students that may need additional support. I also found that it did not provide a lot of information to help write the narrative style progress reports that I provide for families. 

In order to better utilize my observations, I had to think of a simple way to record a burst of activity for each child happening each day. I did not want to carry a clip board everywhere and I wanted to make sure that I was still engaging with the children for the majority of their play time. 

If you are recording data, like in the observation record listed above, then it tends to be filed away for summary at a later time. I wanted to make the children's interest and learning more visible for themselves and their families. Keeping tally marks of who does what and how many times they do it is not interesting and does not give a fair representation of the whole child. So, I decided that the observations should be done in a way that it could become part of their portfolio that goes home at the end of the year. 

Knowing that I wanted to be able to continue engaging with the children and get a picture of the whole child, I developed these two pages to add to their portfolio:

  


The narrative observations by subject are done monthly. By recording an observation according to subject matter, it makes learning visible for the parents. I am able to record in a way that does not interfere with the child's play and it documents their abilities. Since I am only doing on subject matter each month, making a narrative record for each child takes very little time.

The calendar is filled in daily. During our morning activities (the longer block of play where children can really become immersed in what they are doing), I watch to see what activity the child is most engrossed with. I record their most prominent play scheme of the morning or a special event that they participated in. I also ask families to share special events that happen at home on non-school days, so that they can also be added to the calendar.

Setting up a "music dance show."
This is month two of recording observations in this style. I really like it. It is much more informative than previous styles for planning activities that are based on the children's interests and abilities. Plus, using a calendar format allows the children to be involved while using a calendar in a meaningful way.

For those interested, children over two also have a writing sample and self portrait in their portfolio for each month. Additionally, I share photo documentation with families weekly of the activities. I think this combination of documentation styles and sharing really helps to capture the whole child and their individuality. So far, I'm enjoying watching the interests develop and getting to know each child a little better than I did before.



*I did not record where in the internet I found the images included in the documents. They are not my original design. If you are the creator or know where it came from, please leave a comment so that I can give the proper credit.