We have been waiting on changes to licensing and this notice just came through email from Janet S. Whitten, MSW, Children’s Licensing & Investigation Manager~
Please find attached the proposed Family Child Care Rule, summary and principal reasons for proposing this rule, and information regarding the Public Hearing.
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Rule for the Licensing of Family Child Care Providers (10-148 C.M.R., Ch. 33)
BRIEF SUMMARY: The proposed changes repeal and replace the Rules for the Certification of Family Child Care Providers and refocus, clarify and streamline minimum health and safety standards for the licensing of family child care providers, who are licensed to care for children in their own homes. They include removing obsolete definitions, while adding and clarifying other definitions for terms necessary for the rule; streamlining and clarifying requirements for license applications; clarifying the Department’s inspection and investigation procedures of licensed family child care providers; unifying and streamlining record-keeping requirements into one section; changing staff/child ratios, by allowing family child care providers to exclude their own children from the staff/child ratio calculation; reframing the order and language of the rule to more clearly describe provider licensing responsibilities; clarifying requirements for providers caring for children in swimming and wading settings; and increasing transparency in the enforcement process, by more clearly describing each step involved. The Department eliminated requirements for personal references, allowed providers to count first aid and CPR training in annual training hours required, eliminated the provisional license, reduced the number of fire drills required, and eliminated the drafting of specific policies that extended beyond baseline health and safety requirements.
PRINCIPAL REASON(S) OR PURPOSE FOR PROPOSING THIS RULE: These proposed rule changes are intended to clarify the health and safety minimum licensing standards for family child care providers, which include adding lead drinking water testing, background checks, and standards for outdoor play areas to address specific health and safety concerns. Further, the Department intends to make the requirements easier to understand for providers to obtain and maintain a license, by clarifying evidence-based measures for child care licensing inspections. Finally, the Department is proposing to increase transparency regarding the inspection, investigation and enforcement procedures, so that providers can more easily understand what will happen in the course of a license, or if violations occur. These changes are designed to increase the statewide access to, and availability of, family child care, and to improve the ability of licensees to comply with this rule.
PUBLIC HEARING on Rules:
9 a.m., Monday May 8, 2017; Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave, Augusta, Maine.
Written Comment DEADLINE: 5:00 pm May 18, 2017
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Jonathan Leach, 286 Water Street, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0011; Tel: 287-9395;firstname.lastname@example.org