New Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) Courses available August 17, 2015
See flyer for details.
Green Apple Accreditation of Children's Services 11th Annual Conference
See flyer for details.
Gold Seal Rule Change Effective July 7, 2015
The Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation has completed the rule promulgation process for the Gold Seal Quality Care program. The new rule language becomes effective on July 7, 2015. Thank you to those of you who participated and contributed during this process.
Provider Registration for Florida's Background Screening Clearinghouse has Begun
Pre-registration for the Background Screening Clearinghouse Results Portal is now available for the following provider group(s):
- Child Care Facilities
- Foster Care
- Family Child Care Homes
- Child Placing and Residential Agencies
- Substance Abuse (Adults Only)
- Religious Exempt Providers
- Afterschool and/or Enrichment Programs
- Chapter 39 Contract Providers
The Clearinghouse will provide for the sharing of criminal history information among the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of Juvenile Justice and Vocational Rehabilitation.
The advantages to the Clearinghouse are:
- Eliminates duplicate screenings for individuals requiring screening across multiple state agencies
- Persons with a Clearinghouse Screening will not be required to be re-fingerprinted
- Screening information for new hires previously screened through the Clearinghouse will be available to providers
- A photograph of the person being fingerprinted will be submitted with the screening
- The retention of fingerprints by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; this will allow providers to receive notification if an employee is arrested in the State of Florida and provide protection for the vulnerable populations we serve
- Providers can track the status of screenings that they initiate until completion
DCF and AHCA (the agency that houses and maintains the Clearinghouse) strongly encourage DCF providers to PRE-REGISTER starting June 19, 2015.
Registration for the Clearinghouse Results Portal is FREE.
Instructions to pre-register (complete user instruction guide with screen shots at (http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/backgroundscreening/clearinghouse/):
- Click this link to open your browser to the AHCA Portal.
- Click on the link for ‘New User Registration’.
- Check the box for user Authorization and click ‘Continue’ button.
- Fill out the information fields to create your account.
- Important: the email you enter on this page will be used for all future user account notifications and background screening notifications.
- Click the ‘Register’ button.
- Click the ‘Return to Login’ button on the next screen.
- Log in using the username and password you created.
- Select ‘Department of Children and Families’ from the ‘select program’ drop down list and click ‘Request Program Access’.
- Select ‘Provider’ from the ‘role’ drop down list.
- Select your provider type from the ‘provider type’ drop down list.
- Begin typing the name of the provider you represent.
- Select it from the list when it appears and be sure your OCA number matches.
- Click ‘Add Provider’ button.
- Repeat steps 10-12 for additional providers you represent, if applicable.
- Click ‘Submit Request and Generate User Agreement’.
- Review the user registration agreement that opens in the next window.
- Print the agreement by clicking the ‘here’ link in the upper right hand corner of the window under your email and user ID.
- Sign the agreement and have your owner/administrator/supervisor sign it.
- Send the agreement and a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued photo ID to DCF in one of the following ways:
- Mail To:
Office of Background Screening
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Building 6, Room 361
Tallahassee, FL 32399
- Scan and E-Mail To:
Subject Line: BGS User Agreement
- Fax To:
813-558 - 1171
- Mail To:
DCF will finalize your registration for the Clearinghouse Results Portal after July 6, 2015. You will receive an email when your registration is complete with a link to the Clearinghouse Results Portal and training materials.
You may begin using the Clearinghouse Results Portal to search for applicants, initiate screenings, and check eligibility determinations when you receive the registration approval email.
Summer BreakSpot Provides Florida Kids Healthy Meals All Summer Long
Visit the Fresh From Florida website and find a Summer BreakSpot near you. Free breakfasts, lunches and snacks are available to anyone age 18 and under all summer long.
Background Screening Requirements for Membership Organizations
BEGINNING JULY 1, 2015 - BACKGROUND SCREENING WILL BE REQUIRED FOR PERSONNEL OF MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATIONS:
Governor Scott signed into law SB 7078 Relating to Child Welfare. This bill authorizes critical incident rapid response teams to review cases of child deaths occurring during an open investigation; requires case staffing when medical neglect is substantiated; requires an epidemiological child abuse death assessment and prevention system; provides intent for the operation of and interaction between the state and local death review committees, etc.
The bill also amends s. 402.301, F.S., regarding all personnel of membership organizations affiliated with national organizations to meet Level 2 background screening requirements and s. 402.302(3), F.S., regarding the definition of child care personnel to include “membership organizations” for the purpose of background screening requirements.
Any organization having questions concerning the background screening process may visit the Department’s website at www.myflfamilies.com/backgroundscreening or call the call center at 888-352-2842.
Notice of Change Notification - Gold Seal Quality Care Program
This is notification that the Department of Children and Family Services, Office of Child Care Regulation has published a notice of change to 65C-22.009 and 65C-20.014, F.A.C. pertaining to Gold Seal Quality Care Programs. The Department previously published proposed rule for the Gold Seal program in the Florida Administrative Registry on December 22, 2014. The Department hosted a public hearing on January 23, 2015 and received feedback and suggestions from the community, accrediting agencies, and providers. The Department has also received comment from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC). For the current publication, the rule language and supporting documents have been edited based on these suggestions and feedback.
Please review the notice of change rule language and supporting documents.
- 65C-20.014, Gold Seal Quality Care Program
- 65C-22.009, Gold Seal Quality Care Program.
- CF-FSP 5315, Gold Seal Quality Care Application
- CF-FSP 5387, Gold Seal Quality Care Accrediting Standards for Child Care Programs
- CF-FSP 5388, Gold Seal Quality Care Accrediting Standards for Family Day Care Homes and Large Family Child Care Homes
- CF-FSP 5389, Gold Seal Quality Care Program Reviewer Agreement
Measles Educational Information
Lately, with national news outlets reporting an ongoing multistate Measles outbreak, it is very important to stay educated and informed on what is known about this highly infectious disease. Though currently there have been no confirmed reports of Measles among Florida Residents the following link provides information and the latest updates regarding Measles from the Florida Department of Health.
Public Hearing Summary - Gold Seal
The Department hosted a public hearing on January 23, 2015 pertaining to the Gold Seal Quality Care Program. The session was well attended and generated many comments and questions. A summary has been prepared that includes comments received during the hearing and via email. View the summary.
Notice of Proposed Rule - Gold Seal
This is notification that the Department of Children and Family Services, Office of Child Care Regulation has published proposed rule changes to 65C-22.009 and 65C-20.014, F.A.C. pertaining to Gold Seal Quality Care Programs. The Department previously published proposed rule for the Gold Seal program in the Florida Administrative Registry on August 7, 2014. For the current publication, the rule has been edited based on previous feedback and suggestions received by the Department from the community, providers, and the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC).
The proposed rule language and supporting documents are attached for your review.
- 65C-20.014 Proposed Rule [NOPR2]
- 65C-22.009 Proposed Rule [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5315 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5386 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5387 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5388 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5389 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- CF-FSP 5390 November 2014 [NOPR2]
- Gold Seal Quality Care Program Review Process and Procedures [NOPR2]
What Early Care and Education Providers and Families Should Know About Enterovirus D68
The Administration for Children and Families has received questions from Head Start and child care programs about recent news reports of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) spreading across the country. Infecting about 10 to 15 million Americans each year, enteroviruses are very common, especially during the summer and fall months. Infants and children are more susceptible to infection due to developing immune systems and the lack of prior exposure to viruses. Pregnant women also have a greater chance of being infected but will only develop mild or no symptoms. In fact, most people who acquire enteroviruses do not get sick. However, EV-D68 can cause mild-to-severe respiratory illness. Children with asthma could have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 infection.
Similar to the common cold, mild symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body and muscle aches. Severe symptoms can include wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Some individuals could develop heart or brain infections or even become paralyzed.
You can get infected with enteroviruses by having close contact with an infected person who coughs or sneezes. You can also get infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Currently, there is no specific treatment, antiviral medication, or vaccine for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. For mild respiratory illness, symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter medications for pain and fever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Aspirin should not be given to children. Individuals with severe respiratory illness might need to be hospitalized.
You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading EV-D68 and other respiratory illnesses by following these steps.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Please see the below links for additional information:
Used to assess the need for your program to be licensed as a “Child Care Facility,” as required under S. 402.302(1), Florida Statutes.
New Online Training Courses Available
The Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation are now offering two new courses: Obesity Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles and Effective Communication for Child Care Professionals.
Obesity Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles (OPHL) was developed to assist Florida's child care professionals teach children how to develop healthy eating habits and live a physically active lifestyle. Effective Communication for Child Care Professionals (ECCC) explores different methods of communication and relates techniques to improve communication with both children and adults.
These courses are available under Training and Credentialing.
Are you considering providing child care services and not sure if your program needs to be licensed to operate. The Department of Children and Families Office of Child Care Regulation is statutorily responsible for the administration of child care licensing and training throughout Florida. The purpose of this program is to ensure that children are well cared for in a safe, healthy, positive and educational environment by trained, qualified child care staff. This program currently regulates licensed child care facilities, licensed family day care homes, licensed large family child care homes, and licensed mildly ill facilities in 62 of the 67 counties in Florida. In addition, the Office of Child Care Regulation administers the registration of family day care homes not required to be licensed. In order to assess the need for your program to be licensed as a “Child Care Facility,” as required under S. 402.302(1), Florida Statutes, please complete these questions and mail to the address listed on the survey. This questionnaire will be reviewed by the Department and you will be contacted by the Office of Child Care Regulation and Background Screening office as soon as possible.
New Behavioral Observation and Screening Course
Child Care Providers:
Please see the attached flyer announcing the release of an updated version of the Child Care Training Course, Behavioral Observation and Screening (BOSR).
The new 6-hour online and instructor-led Behavioral Observation and Screening (BOSR) course will replace the existing 6-hour online and instructor-led course Behavioral Observation and Screening (BOAS) course effective July 1, 2014.
Individuals who have successfully completed the current 6-hour Behavioral Observation and Screening (BOAS) course or the old 10-hour Behavioral Observation and Screening course (BOS) do not have to retake the courses. The certificates reflecting completion of the previous courses will continue to appear on the child care training transcript. However, individuals who have already received credit for the old courses may choose to take the new course to earn in-service credit and Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
To make sure students who complete the current Behavior Observation and Screening (BOAS) course are not penalized because of the release of the new course, they will have until June 30, 2015 to pass the exam associated with the BOAS course.
Please contact the Child Care Training Information Center, toll-free, at 1-888-352-2842 if you have any questions.
Office of Child Care Regulation
Child Abuse Reporting Available Online
- Child Care Online Abuse Reporting Newsletter Article
- Online Abuse Reporting Flier
- Download the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Child Abuse Hotline web button to post on your web site or use in other projects.
(Right click the image, select "save picture as" to save to your location.)
- Link the button to the DCF Child Abuse Hotline using this URL: https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/
Director Credential Renewal Reminder
THE DEADLINE TO RENEW IS FAST APPROACHING!
Pursuant to Section 402.305(2)(f), Florida Statutes every child care facility director must have a director credential. Beginning on January 1, 2014, many Director Credential certificates will become inactive. Check your credential to determine your certificate’s inactive date.
To maintain a Florida Director Credential, every (5) years a candidate must complete the renewal application and provide documentation of the following up to one (1) year prior to the end of the active period of the current credential:
- An active staff credential documented on individual’s child care training transcript.
- 4.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUS) or three (3) college credit hours in any one (1) of the approved curriculum areas within the last five (5) years, based on the date the application for renewal is received.
- Candidates must demonstrate professional contributions in the child care field.
For more information visit www.myflorida.com/childcare
or contact the Child Care Training
Information Center at 888-352-2842.