Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 10: Licensing and Community Action

10.3 Licensing Agency

10.3.4 Technical Assistance from the Licensing Agency Sources of Technical Assistance to Support Quality of Child Care

Public authorities (such as licensing agencies) and private agencies (such as resource and referral agencies), should develop systems for technical assistance to states, localities, child care agencies, and caregivers/teachers that address the following:

  1. Meeting licensing requirements;
  2. Establishing programs that meet the developmental needs of children;
  3. Educating parents/guardians on specific health and safety issues through the production and distribution of related material.
The administrative practice of developing systems for technical assistance is designed to enhance the overall quality of child care that meets the social and developmental needs of children. The chief sources of technical assistance are:
  1. Licensing agencies (on ways to meet the regulations);
  2. Health departments (on health related matters);
  3. Resource and referral agencies (on ways to achieve quality, how to start a new facility, supply and demand data, how to get licensed, and what parents/guardians want);
  4. Child care health, education, mental health consultant networks; American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state chapters and child care contacts; and state Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grants are examples of partners providing technical assistance on health and related child care matters.

The state agency has a continuing responsibility to assist an applicant in qualifying for a license and to help licensees improve and maintain the quality of their facility. Regulations should be available to parents/guardians and interested citizens upon request and should be translated if needed. Licensing inspectors throughout the state should be required to offer assistance and consultation as a regular part of their duties and to coordinate consultation with other technical assistance providers as this is an integral part of the licensing process.

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Office of Child Care (OCC) of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) continue to develop initiatives that provide funding to support technical assistance to early care and education. States should check with their State Child Care Administrators, Maternal and Child Health Directors, and Head Start State Collaboration Directors, for more information.

Providing centers and networks of small or large family child care homes with guidelines and information on establishing a program of care is intended to promote appropriate programs of activities. Child care staff is rarely trained health professionals. Since staff and time are often limited, caregivers/teachers should have access to consultation on available resources in a variety of fields (such as physical and mental health care; nutrition; safety, including fire safety; oral health care; developmental disabilities; and cultural sensitivity) (1,2).

The public agencies can facilitate access to children and their families by providing useful materials to child care providers.

RELATED STANDARDS Opportunities for Communication and Modeling of Health and Safety Education for Parents/Guardians Parent/Guardian Education Plan Credentialing of Individual Child Care Providers Licensing Agency Procedures Prior to Issuing a License
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2001. The pediatrician’s role in promoting health and safety in child care. Elk Grove Village, IL: AAP.
  2. Alkon, A., J. Bernzweig, K. To, M. Wolff, J. F. Mackie. 2009. Child care health consultation improves health and safety policies and practices. Acad Pediatr 9:366-70.