Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 10: Licensing and Community Action

10.4 Facility Licensing

10.4.2 Facility Inspections and Monitoring Agency Collaboration to Safeguard Children in Child Care

The child care licensing, building, fire safety, and health authorities, as well as any other regulators (e.g., environmental, sanitation, and food safety), should work together as a team to safeguard children in child care. The team should eliminate duplication of inspections to create more efficient regulatory efforts. Examples of activities to be coordinated include:

  1. Inspection of child care facility;
  2. Reporting and surveillance systems;
  3. Guidance in managing outbreaks of infectious diseases;
  4. Preventing exposure of children to hazards;
  5. Reporting child abuse;
  6. Training and technical consultation;
  7. Disaster preparedness and response planning (1).

Regulatory agents should collaborate to educate caregivers/teachers, parents/guardians, health care providers, public health workers, licensors, and employers about their roles in ensuring health and safety in child care settings.

Frequently, caregivers/teachers are burdened by complicated procedures and conflicting requirements to obtain clearance from various authorities to operate. To use limited resources, agencies must avoid contradictions in regulatory codes, simplify inspection procedures, and reduce bureaucratic disincentives to the provision of safe and healthy care for children. When regulatory authorities work as a team, collaboration should focus on establishing the role of each agency in ensuring that necessary services and systems exist to prevent and control health and safety problems in facilities. Each member of the team gains opportunities to learn about the responsibilities of other team members so that close working relationships can be established, conflicts can be resolved, and decisions can be reached. In small states, a state level task force may be sufficient. In larger or more populous states, local task forces may be needed to promote effective use of resources.
The licensing agency can facilitate communication and collaboration between the child care facility and the state health department, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies, other regulatory agencies, funding agencies, child protection agencies, law enforcement agencies, community service agencies, school districts and school personnel, including school nurses, and local government to safeguard children in child care.
RELATED STANDARDS Recognizing and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Inspection of Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas and Equipment Written Plan and Training for Handling Urgent Medical or Threatening Incidents Review of Written Plan for Urgent Care and Threatening Incidents Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication Written Plan for Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Emergency and Evacuation Drills Policy Use of Daily Roster During Evacuation Drills Sign-In/Sign-Out System Authorized Persons to Pick Up Child Policy on Actions to Be Followed When No Authorized Person Arrives to Pick Up a Child Documentation of Drop-Off, Pick-Up, Daily Attendance of Child, and Parent/Provider Communication
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Children and disasters.