**Please note the language change to “Child’s Parent/Legal Guardian” requirement for contract and handbook language. This change recognizes individual family structure and is inclusive.
- The Provider must have a readily accessible copy of this Rule (currently link is to proposed Rule language) on the Premises and must make it available to any person upon request.
** Suggestion: You do not need to provide everyone an individual hard copy of your Handbook. So both you and families have ready access this can be part of your Parent Information Board, your 3-Ring Binder, or linked on your website.
2. The Provider must allow a Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians unlimited access to visit the Child, to observe the program at any time that the Child is present and provide opportunities to participate in activities.
** SUGGESTION: Include in Contract/Handbook through policy language. Sample
a. The Provider must exchange information with the Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians about the Child on a frequency appropriate for the age and development of the Child.
** This can be cover with policy language that reflects how you communicate, any eportfolio sights, and samples of daily notes or request for family to provide forms they want completed. This also can include scheduled conferences help by your program.
b. The Provider must advise a Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians prior to taking Children on Field Trips and must require the Parents/Legal Guardian’s written permission.
** Transportation Forms folder has a variety of options for single events or general permission.
c. The Provider must be directly accessible to a Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians by telephone at all times when Children are present.
** Be sure you provide Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians with your contact information. Some providers do this by printing off business cards with address/email/phone.
d. The Provider must advise a Child’s Parents/Legal Guardians prior to allowing the Child to participate in any high-risk activity; for example, swimming, horseback riding or using a trampoline.
3. The provider must encourage Parents/Legal Guardians to visit the Family Child Care Provider prior to admission.
4. A copy of the Provider handbook will be made available to all Parents or Legal Guardians at the time of enrollment. The handbook must contain, at a minimum:
** Reminder: the following items do not need to be individually broken out in the handbook. They can be combined in a manner that works for you, they just need to be part of your handbook. ~ Sample contract and handbook language can be found in the general “Business Toolkit” for those looking to change up their current language.
- a. Ages of Children served;
- b. Hours of operation and daily schedule;
- c. Numbers of Children served;
- d. Specific focus if applicable, such as educational focus, religious focus, Montessori, after-school, summer recreation, teaching site, etc.;
- e. Opportunities for Parent/Legal Guardian involvement;
- f. A description of the Child guidance methods used by Staff Members;
- g. Services offered, such as: basic childcare, care for Children with special needs, part-time care, Infant/toddler care, pre-school care, school-age care, etc.;
- h. Fees (if any) including charges for late pick-up of Children;
** Sample general language
- i. Vacation policy;
- j. Terms of any contract or placement agreements;
- k. The rights of Children;
** Use the Rule language on Child’s Rights for your language.
- l. Emergency procedures and relocation information;
** Cover in your Emergency Preparedness Plan.
- m. Incident reporting and mandatory reporting of Child Abuse or Neglect;
** Resource links in Section 6/ reporting requirements and Section 11/ Reporting Child Abuse. Informational material on child abuse and neglect, information about reporting/following process and sample language for provider’s policy/procedure contained in FCCAM-PLC Mandated Report Folder.
- n. Expulsion and suspension practices;
- o. Management of communicable illnesses;
- p. Medication administration;
- q. Annual calendar of closure dates (if applicable);
- r. Resources available for developmental screenings; and
- s. Reporting of Child death and serious injury.
5. A Family Child Care Provider must ensure that all Staff Members are adequately trained and/or have sufficient experience to meet the needs of all Children for whom they are responsible, as the need presents.
6. Except as provided by law, confidential information may not be released without a court order or a written release from the Parent or Legal Guardian of the Child about whom the confidential information has been requested. The following information is confidential:
a. All Child records.
b. All personnel records, which must be provided to the Department upon request.
c. Information that identifies, directly or indirectly, a referent, complainant, or reporter of suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, and/or licensing rule violations.
d. Information about Children in care (or formerly in care). This information may be disclosed only upon written authorization of a Child’s Legal Guardian, except as otherwise specified by law, and must be shared with the Department and Child placing agencies licensed pursuant to 22 MRS Chapter 1671, upon request.
7. The Provider must maintain a staff manual that addresses the following:
a. Policies and their implementation. This must include, at a minimum, policies for the following:
i. Mandated reporting,
ii. Child guidance,
iii. Child illness,
iv. Fire drill procedures,
v. Emergency and disaster procedures,
vi. Staff Member qualifications and training,
vii. Supervision of Staff Members/interns
viii. Reporting licensing violations,
ix. Inclusionary practices for Children with disabilities,
x. Safe sleep policy,
xi. Serious injury and Child death reporting,
xii. Expulsion and suspension prevention,
xiii. Interpretation for English Language Learners,
xiv. Release of Children, and
xv. Transportation of Children (if applicable).
8. The Provider must adopt a written policy for handling all suspected instances of Child Abuse or following:
- a. Internal notification procedure of suspected Abuse or Neglect,
- b. Conditions that require internal notification of the Provider,
- c. The requirement that any suspicion of Abuse or Neglect must be immediately shared with the Provider,
- d. The requirement that suspected Child Abuse or Neglect must be immediately reported upon suspicion to Child Protective Intake hotline,
- e. Identification of personnel responsible for contacting the Child Protective Intake hotline,
- f. Protocol to notify all relevant parties (Parents, Staff Members, interns, or Household Members) that suspected Child Abuse or Neglect has been reported to Child Protective Intake,
- g. Completion of Incident reports, including: the details of the allegation or suspicion, the date Child Protective Intake was called, which Staff Members and/or interns were notified the report was filed, and whether or not the Parent/Legal Guardian were notified of the allegation, and
- h. Parental notification, including the determination of how and what information will be shared with a Parent/Legal Guardian when Child Protective Intake has been contacted.
10. The Provider must develop a written policy to follow if an allegation of Child Abuse or Neglect is made against the Provider, any Staff Member, or Household Member in the Provider’s home. The written policy must include but is not limited to the following:
- a. Prevention measures to protect providers from potential allegations;
- b. Conditions of continued employment and access to Children during the course of an investigation by the Department;
- c. Grounds for termination;
- d. The requirement to report suspected Child Abuse or Neglect occurring at any location in accordance with statute; and
- e. Parental notification.
11. The Provider must be responsible for the Provider’s daily operation in compliance with this rule. If the Provider is not present, an equally qualified Staff Member must be designated to be in charge and be given authority to administer the program in compliance with this rule.