January 20, 2021
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_h0201__
HB 201

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to human services personnel; providing a
3short title; amending s. 402.305, F.S.; requiring the
4owner or operator of a child care facility to report
5background screening results to the Department of Children
6and Family Services before employing a person at the child
7care facility; prohibiting the hiring of a person with a
8disqualifying offense without being granted an exemption;
9prohibiting the department from granting an exemption from
10disqualification from employment to work with children or
11the developmentally disabled under certain circumstances;
12amending s. 402.40, F.S.; providing and revising
13definitions; requiring child welfare services staff to
14obtain child welfare certification; requiring the
15Department of Children and Family Services to designate a
16credentialing entity to administer the certification
17process; requiring the department to develop minimum
18trainer qualifications; amending s. 429.14, F.S., relating
19to administrative penalties; prohibiting the Agency for
20Health Care Administration from granting an exemption from
21disqualification from employment in an assisted living
22facility under certain circumstances; amending s. 429.174,
23F.S.; requiring the owner or administrator of an assisted
24living facility to report background screening results to
25the agency before employing a person at the assisted
26living facility; prohibiting the hiring of a person with a
27disqualifying offense without being granted an exemption;
28prohibiting the agency from granting an exemption from
29disqualification from employment under certain
30circumstances; amending s. 435.05, F.S.; revising employer
31reporting requirements relating to background screening
32for applicants for employment in a child care facility or
33an assisted living facility; requiring the owner or
34administrator of a child care facility or an assisted
35living facility to report background screening results to
36the licensing agency; prohibiting the hiring of a person
37with a disqualifying offense without being granted an
38exemption; prohibiting the agency from granting an
39exemption from disqualification from employment under
40certain circumstances; amending s. 435.07, F.S.;
41increasing the waiting period for requesting an exemption
42from disqualification for certain employees; authorizing
43licensing agencies to retain employee fingerprints under
44certain circumstances; requiring licensing agencies to
45review exemptions from disqualification periodically;
46providing conditions for the revocation of an employee's
47exemption from disqualification; authorizing licensing
48agencies to adopt rules relating to exemptions from
49disqualification; amending ss. 402.30501, 411.01, 1002.55,
501002.57, and 1002.59, F.S.; conforming cross-references;
51reenacting s. 402.302(3), F.S., relating to the definition
52of "child care personnel"; reenacting s. 402.3055(2)(b),
53(d), and (g), F.S., relating to child care personnel
54requirements; reenacting s. 402.3057, F.S., relating to
55persons not required to be refingerprinted or rescreened;
56reenacting s. 402.308(3)(d) and (4)(d), F.S., relating to
57issuance or renewal of a child care facility license;
58reenacting s. 402.313(3), F.S., relating to child care
59personnel in family day care homes; reenacting s.
60402.3131(2), F.S., relating to child care personnel in
61large family child care homes; reenacting s. 409.1757,
62F.S., relating to persons not required to be
63refingerprinted or rescreened; providing an effective
64date.
65
66Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
67
68     Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Protecting
69Florida's Most Vulnerable Citizens Act."
70     Section 2.  Subsection (2) of section 402.305, Florida
71Statutes, is amended to read:
72     402.305  Licensing standards; child care facilities.--
73     (2)  PERSONNEL.--Minimum standards for child care personnel
74shall include minimum requirements as to:
75     (a)  Good moral character based upon screening.
76     1.  This screening shall be conducted as provided in
77chapter 435, using the level 2 standards for screening set forth
78in that chapter. The owner or operator of a child care facility
79must report the results of the screening to the department
80before a person may be employed at the child care facility. If
81the results of the screening show any disqualifying offense as
82set forth in chapter 435, the owner or operator of a child care
83facility may not hire that person until such time as an
84exemption is applied for and granted by the licensing agency.
85     2.(b)  The department may grant exemptions from
86disqualification from working with children or the
87developmentally disabled as provided in s. 435.07; however, the
88department may not grant an exemption if the person has a record
89of a felony or misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a
90violent or sexual nature against a child or a vulnerable adult.
91     (b)(c)  Minimum age requirements. Such minimum standards
92shall prohibit a person under the age of 21 from being the
93operator of a child care facility and a person under the age of
9416 from being employed at such facility unless such person is
95under direct supervision and is not counted for the purposes of
96computing the personnel-to-child ratio.
97     (c)(d)  Minimum training requirements for child care
98personnel.
99     1.  Such minimum standards for training shall ensure that
100all child care personnel take an approved 40-clock-hour
101introductory course in child care, which course covers at least
102the following topic areas:
103     a.  State and local rules and regulations which govern
104child care.
105     b.  Health, safety, and nutrition.
106     c.  Identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
107     d.  Child development, including typical and atypical
108language, cognitive, motor, social, and self-help skills
109development.
110     e.  Observation of developmental behaviors, including using
111a checklist or other similar observation tools and techniques to
112determine the child's developmental age level.
113     f.  Specialized areas, including computer technology for
114professional and classroom use and early literacy and language
115development of children from birth to 5 years of age, as
116determined by the department, for owner-operators and child care
117personnel of a child care facility.
118
119Within 90 days after employment, child care personnel shall
120begin training to meet the training requirements. Child care
121personnel shall successfully complete such training within 1
122year after the date on which the training began, as evidenced by
123passage of a competency examination. Successful completion of
124the 40-clock-hour introductory course shall articulate into
125community college credit in early childhood education, pursuant
126to ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25. Exemption from all or a portion of
127the required training shall be granted to child care personnel
128based upon educational credentials or passage of competency
129examinations. Child care personnel possessing a 2-year degree or
130higher that includes 6 college credit hours in early childhood
131development or child growth and development, or a child
132development associate credential or an equivalent state-approved
133child development associate credential, or a child development
134associate waiver certificate shall be automatically exempted
135from the training requirements in sub-subparagraphs b., d., and
136e.
137     2.  The introductory course in child care shall stress, to
138the extent possible, an interdisciplinary approach to the study
139of children.
140     3.  The introductory course shall cover recognition and
141prevention of shaken baby syndrome, prevention of sudden infant
142death syndrome, and early childhood brain development within the
143topic areas identified in this paragraph.
144     4.  On an annual basis in order to further their child care
145skills and, if appropriate, administrative skills, child care
146personnel who have fulfilled the requirements for the child care
147training shall be required to take an additional 1 continuing
148education unit of approved inservice training, or 10 clock hours
149of equivalent training, as determined by the department.
150     5.  Child care personnel shall be required to complete 0.5
151continuing education unit of approved training or 5 clock hours
152of equivalent training, as determined by the department, in
153early literacy and language development of children from birth
154to 5 years of age one time. The year that this training is
155completed, it shall fulfill the 0.5 continuing education unit or
1565 clock hours of the annual training required in subparagraph 4.
157     6.  Procedures for ensuring the training of qualified child
158care professionals to provide training of child care personnel,
159including onsite training, shall be included in the minimum
160standards. It is recommended that the state community child care
161coordination agencies (central agencies) be contracted by the
162department to coordinate such training when possible. Other
163district educational resources, such as community colleges and
164career programs, can be designated in such areas where central
165agencies may not exist or are determined not to have the
166capability to meet the coordination requirements set forth by
167the department.
168     7.  Training requirements shall not apply to certain
169occasional or part-time support staff, including, but not
170limited to, swimming instructors, piano teachers, dance
171instructors, and gymnastics instructors.
172     8.  The department shall evaluate or contract for an
173evaluation for the general purpose of determining the status of
174and means to improve staff training requirements and testing
175procedures. The evaluation shall be conducted every 2 years. The
176evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, determining the
177availability, quality, scope, and sources of current staff
178training; determining the need for specialty training; and
179determining ways to increase inservice training and ways to
180increase the accessibility, quality, and cost-effectiveness of
181current and proposed staff training. The evaluation methodology
182shall include a reliable and valid survey of child care
183personnel.
184     9.  The child care operator shall be required to take basic
185training in serving children with disabilities within 5 years
186after employment, either as a part of the introductory training
187or the annual 8 hours of inservice training.
188     (d)(e)  Periodic health examinations.
189     (e)(f)  By January 1, 2000, a credential for child care
190facility directors. By January 1, 2004, the credential shall be
191a required minimum standard for licensing.
192     Section 3.  Section 402.40, Florida Statutes, is amended to
193read:
194     402.40  Child welfare training and certification.--
195     (1)  LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--In order to enable the state to
196provide a systematic approach to staff development and training
197for persons providing child welfare services which meets that
198will meet the needs of such staff in the their discharge of
199their duties, it is the intent of the Legislature that the
200Department of Children and Family Services establish, maintain,
201and oversee the operation of child welfare training academies in
202the state. The Legislature further intends that the staff
203development and training programs that are established will aid
204in the reduction of poor staff morale and of staff turnover,
205will positively impact on the quality of decisions made
206regarding children and families who require assistance from
207programs providing child welfare services, and will afford a
208better quality of care for of children who are must be removed
209from their families.
210     (2)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:
211     (a)  "Child welfare certification" means a professional
212credential awarded by the department, or by a credentialing
213entity designated by the department, to individuals
214demonstrating core competency in any child welfare services
215practice area.
216     (b)(a)  "Child welfare services" means any intake,
217protective investigations, preprotective services, protective
218services, foster care, shelter and group care, and adoption and
219related services program, including supportive services,
220supervision, and legal services, provided to children who are
221alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, or who are
222at risk of becoming, are alleged to be, or have been found
223dependent pursuant to chapter 39.
224     (c)  "Core competency" means having the knowledge, skills,
225and abilities necessary to perform child welfare services.
226     (d)(b)  "Person providing child welfare services" means a
227person who has a responsibility for supervisory, legal, direct
228care, or support-related support related work in the provision
229of child welfare services pursuant to chapter 39.
230     (3)  CHILD WELFARE TRAINING PROGRAM.--The department shall
231establish a child welfare training program for training pursuant
232to the provisions of this section, and all persons providing
233child welfare services in this state must demonstrate core
234competency by earning and maintaining child welfare
235certification shall be required to participate in and
236successfully complete the program of training pertinent to their
237areas of responsibility.
238     (4)  CHILD WELFARE TRAINING TRUST FUND.--
239     (a)  There is created within the State Treasury a Child
240Welfare Training Trust Fund to be used by the department of
241Children and Family Services for the purpose of funding a
242comprehensive system of child welfare training, including the
243securing of consultants to develop the system and the developing
244of child welfare training academies for that include the
245participation of persons providing child welfare services.
246     (b)  One dollar from every noncriminal traffic infraction
247collected pursuant to s. 318.14(10)(b) or s. 318.18 shall be
248deposited into the Child Welfare Training Trust Fund.
249     (c)  In addition to the funds generated by paragraph (b),
250the trust fund shall receive funds generated from an additional
251fee on birth certificates and dissolution of marriage filings,
252as specified in ss. 382.0255 and 28.101, respectively, and may
253receive funds from any other public or private source.
254     (d)  Funds that are not expended by the end of the budget
255cycle or through a supplemental budget approved by the
256department shall revert to the trust fund.
257     (5)  CORE COMPETENCIES.--
258     (a)  The department of Children and Family Services shall
259establish the core competencies for a single integrated
260curriculum that ensures that each person delivering child
261welfare services obtains the knowledge, skills, and abilities to
262competently carry out his or her work responsibilities. The This
263curriculum may be a compilation of different development efforts
264based on specific subsets of core competencies that are
265integrated for a comprehensive curriculum required in the
266provision of child welfare services in this state.
267     (b)  The identification of these core competencies shall be
268a collaborative effort by to include professionals who have with
269expertise in child welfare services and providers that will be
270affected by the curriculum, including to include, but not be
271limited to, representatives from the community-based care lead
272agencies, sheriffs' offices conducting child protection
273investigations, and child welfare legal services providers.
274     (c)  Notwithstanding s. 287.057(5) and (22), the department
275shall competitively solicit and contract for the development,
276validation, and periodic evaluation of the training curricula
277for the established single integrated curriculum. No more than
278one training curriculum may be developed for each specific
279subset of the core competencies.
280     (6)  ADVANCED TRAINING.--The department of Children and
281Family Services shall annually review examine the advanced
282training that is needed by persons who deliver child welfare
283services in the state. This review must consider examination
284shall address whether the current advanced training provided
285should be continued and shall include the development of plans
286for incorporating any revisions to the advanced training which
287are determined necessary. The review must This examination shall
288be conducted in collaboration with professionals who have with
289expertise in child welfare services and providers that will be
290affected by the curriculum, including to include, but not be
291limited to, representatives from the community-based care lead
292agencies, sheriffs' offices conducting child protection
293investigations, and child welfare legal services providers.
294     (7)  CERTIFICATION AND TRAINER QUALIFICATIONS.--
295     (a)  The department shall designate a credentialing entity
296to administer a statewide child welfare certification process
297for child welfare services staff.
298     (b)  The department shall, in collaboration with the
299professionals and providers described in subsection (5) and the
300designated credentialing entity, develop minimum standards for a
301certification process that ensures that participants have
302successfully attained the knowledge, skills, and abilities
303necessary to competently carry out their work responsibilities
304and shall develop minimum standards for trainer qualifications
305which must be required of training academies in the offering of
306the training curricula.
307     (c)  Any person providing child welfare services must shall
308be required to master the core competencies components of the
309curriculum that are particular to that person's work
310responsibilities as demonstrated by obtaining child welfare
311certification.
312     (8)  ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAINING ACADEMIES AND TRAINER
313QUALIFICATIONS.--The department shall establish child welfare
314training academies and develop minimum trainer qualifications
315for trainers at academies offering the curricula described in
316subsection (5) as part of a comprehensive system of child
317welfare training. In establishing a program of training program,
318the department may contract for the operation of one or more
319training academies to perform one or more of the following: to
320offer one or more of the training curricula developed under
321subsection (5); to administer the certification process; to
322develop, validate, and periodically evaluate additional training
323curricula determined to be necessary, including advanced
324training that is specific to a region or contractor, or that
325meets a particular training need; or to offer the additional
326training curricula. The number, location, and timeframe for the
327establishment of training academies shall be approved by the
328Secretary of Children and Family Services, who shall ensure that
329the goals for the core competencies and the single integrated
330curriculum, the child welfare certification process, the trainer
331qualifications, and the additional training needs are addressed.
332Notwithstanding s. 287.057(5) and (22), the department shall
333competitively solicit all training academy contracts.
334     (9)  MODIFICATION OF CHILD WELFARE TRAINING.--The core
335competencies determined pursuant to subsection (5), the minimum
336standards for the child welfare certification process, and the
337minimum standards for trainer qualifications established
338pursuant to subsection (8) (7), must be submitted to the
339appropriate substantive committees of the Senate and the House
340of Representatives before competitively soliciting either the
341development, validation, or periodic evaluation of the training
342curricula or the training academy contracts.
343     (10)  ADOPTION OF RULES.--The department of Children and
344Family Services shall adopt rules necessary to administer carry
345out the provisions of this section.
346     Section 4.  Paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of section
347429.14, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
348     429.14  Administrative penalties.--
349     (1)  In addition to the requirements of part II of chapter
350408, the agency may deny, revoke, and suspend any license issued
351under this part and impose an administrative fine in the manner
352provided in chapter 120 against a licensee of an assisted living
353facility for a violation of any provision of this part, part II
354of chapter 408, or applicable rules, or for any of the following
355actions by a licensee of an assisted living facility, for the
356actions of any person subject to level 2 background screening
357under s. 408.809, or for the actions of any facility employee:
358     (g)  A determination that an employee, volunteer,
359administrator, or owner, or person who otherwise has access to
360the residents of a facility does not meet the criteria specified
361in s. 435.03(2), and the owner or administrator has not taken
362action to remove the person. Exemptions from disqualification
363may be granted as set forth in s. 435.07. However, the agency
364may not grant an exemption if the person has a record of a
365felony or misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a violent or
366sexual nature against a child or a vulnerable adult. If the
367results of the screening show any disqualifying offense as set
368forth in chapter 435, the facility may not hire that person
369until the person has applied for an exemption from
370disqualification and has been granted an exemption by the
371licensing agency. No administrative action may be taken against
372the facility if the person is granted an exemption.
373     Section 5.  Section 429.174, Florida Statutes, is amended
374to read:
375     429.174  Background screening; exemptions.--The owner or
376administrator of an assisted living facility must conduct level
3771 background screening, as set forth in chapter 435, on all
378employees hired on or after October 1, 1998, who perform
379personal services as defined in s. 429.02(16). The owner or
380administrator of an assisted living facility must report the
381results of the screening to the licensing agency before a person
382may be employed at the assisted living facility. If the results
383of the screening show any disqualifying offense as set forth in
384chapter 435, the facility may not hire that person until the
385person has applied for an exemption from disqualification and
386has been granted an exemption by the agency. The agency may
387exempt a person an individual from employment disqualification
388as set forth in chapter 435; however, the agency may not grant
389an exemption if the person has a record of a felony or
390misdemeanor conviction for an offense of a violent or sexual
391nature against a child or a vulnerable adult. Except as
392otherwise provided in this section, a person Such persons shall
393be considered as having met the this requirement for an
394exemption if:
395     (1)  Proof of compliance with level 1 screening
396requirements obtained to meet any professional license
397requirements in this state is provided and accompanied, under
398penalty of perjury, by a copy of the person's current
399professional license and an affidavit of current compliance with
400the background screening requirements.
401     (2)  The person required to be screened has been
402continuously employed in the same type of occupation for which
403the person is seeking employment without a breach in service
404which exceeds 180 days, and proof of compliance with the level 1
405screening requirement which is no more than 2 years old is
406provided. Proof of compliance shall be provided directly from
407one employer or contractor to another, and not from the person
408screened. Upon request, a copy of screening results shall be
409provided by the employer retaining documentation of the
410screening to the person screened.
411     (3)  The person required to be screened is employed by a
412corporation or business entity or related corporation or
413business entity that owns, operates, or manages more than one
414facility or agency licensed under this chapter, and for whom a
415level 1 screening was conducted by the corporation or business
416entity as a condition of initial or continued employment.
417     Section 6.  Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1) and
418subsection (3) of section 435.05, Florida Statutes, are amended
419to read:
420     435.05  Requirements for covered employees.--Except as
421otherwise provided by law, the following requirements shall
422apply to covered employees:
423     (1)(a)  Every person employed in a position for which
424employment screening is required must, within 5 working days
425after starting to work, submit to the employer a complete set of
426information necessary to conduct a screening under this section.
427The owner or administrator of a child care facility or an
428assisted living facility must report the results of the
429screening to the licensing agency before a person may be
430employed at the facility. If the results of the screening show
431any disqualifying offense as set forth in this chapter, the
432facility may not hire that person until the person has applied
433for an exemption from disqualification and has been granted an
434exemption by the licensing agency.
435     (c)  For level 2 screening, the employer or licensing
436agency must submit the information necessary for screening to
437the Florida Department of Law Enforcement within 5 working days
438after receiving it. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
439will conduct a search of its criminal and juvenile records and
440will request that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conduct a
441search of its records for each employee for whom the request is
442made. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will respond to
443the employer or licensing agency, and the employer or licensing
444agency will inform the employee whether screening has revealed
445disqualifying information. The owner or administrator of a child
446care facility or an assisted living facility must report the
447results of the screening to the agency before a person may be
448employed at the facility. If the results of the screening show
449any disqualifying offense as set forth in this chapter, the
450facility may not hire that person until the person has applied
451for an exemption from disqualification and has been granted an
452exemption by the licensing agency.
453     (3)  Each employer required to conduct level 2 background
454screening must sign an affidavit annually or at the time of
455license renewal, under penalty of perjury, stating that all
456covered employees have been screened or are newly hired and are
457awaiting the results of the required screening checks, except
458that the employer must report the results of the screening to
459the licensing agency before a person may be employed at a child
460care facility or an assisted living facility. If the results of
461the screening show any disqualifying offense as set forth in
462this chapter, the facility may not hire that person until the
463person has applied for an exemption from disqualification and
464has been granted an exemption by the licensing agency.
465     Section 7.  Section 435.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to
466read:
467     435.07  Exemptions from disqualification.--Unless otherwise
468provided by law, the provisions of this section shall apply to
469exemptions from disqualification.
470     (1)  For any employee otherwise disqualified from
471employment, the appropriate licensing agency may grant, deny, or
472revoke a general, limited, or conditional to any employee
473otherwise disqualified from employment an exemption from
474disqualification for:
475     (a)  Felonies committed more than 5 3 years prior to the
476date of disqualification for which the employee or applicant was
477adjudicated and has completed the terms and conditions of the
478sentence imposed;
479     (b)  Misdemeanors prohibited under any of the Florida
480Statutes cited in this chapter or under similar statutes of
481other jurisdictions;
482     (c)  Offenses that were felonies when committed but are now
483misdemeanors;
484     (d)  Findings of delinquency; or
485     (e)  Commissions of acts of domestic violence as defined in
486s. 741.30.
487
488For the purposes of this subsection, the term "felonies" means
489both felonies prohibited under any of the Florida Statutes cited
490in this chapter or under similar statutes of other
491jurisdictions.
492     (2)  Persons employed by or who have applied for employment
493with treatment providers who treat adolescents 13 years of age
494and older who are disqualified from employment solely because of
495crimes under s. 817.563, s. 893.13, or s. 893.147 may be
496exempted from disqualification from employment pursuant to this
497section without the 5-year 3-year waiting period.
498     (3)  In order for a licensing agency department to grant an
499exemption to any employee, the employee must demonstrate by
500clear and convincing evidence that the employee should not be
501disqualified from employment. Employees seeking an exemption
502have the burden of setting forth sufficient evidence of
503rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, the circumstances
504surrounding the criminal incident for which an exemption is
505sought, the time period that has elapsed since the incident, the
506nature of the harm caused to the victim, and the history of the
507employee since the incident, or any other evidence or
508circumstances indicating that the employee will not present a
509danger if continued employment is allowed. A licensing agency
510may not consider an application for an exemption from
511disqualification for a person seeking employment at a child care
512facility or an assisted living facility until 5 years after the
513completion of the terms and conditions of a sentence imposed,
514whether served during actual imprisonment, probation, or parole.
515The decision of the licensing agency department regarding an
516exemption may be contested through the hearing procedures set
517forth in chapter 120.
518     (4)  Disqualification from employment under subsection (1)
519may not be removed from, nor may an exemption be granted to, any
520personnel who is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or
521who has entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, any
522felony covered by s. 435.03 solely by reason of any pardon,
523executive clemency, or restoration of civil rights.
524     (5)  Exemptions granted by one licensing agency shall be
525considered by subsequent licensing agencies, but are not binding
526on the subsequent licensing agency.
527     (6)  A licensing agency may adopt rules for the imposition
528of conditions upon and the review or revocation of individual
529exemptions from disqualification.
530     (7)  A licensing agency may retain fingerprints submitted
531by criminal and noncriminal justice agencies to the agency for a
532criminal history background screening as provided by rule.
533     (8)  The licensing agency shall review an exemption from
534disqualification granted under this section every 3 years, at a
535minimum, after the date upon which the exemption was granted to
536ensure that the rehabilitation is still effective and that there
537have been no additional disqualifying offenses.
538     (9)  The licensing agency shall immediately revoke an
539employee's exemption from disqualification upon a determination
540that the employee committed an additional disqualifying offense.
541     (10)  Any licensing agency that grants an exemption from
542disqualification for employment may adopt rules necessary for
543the implementation of this section.
544     Section 8.  Section 402.30501, Florida Statutes, is amended
545to read:
546     402.30501  Modification of introductory child care course
547for community college credit authorized.--The Department of
548Children and Family Services may modify the 40-clock-hour
549introductory course in child care under s. 402.305 or s.
550402.3131 to meet the requirements of articulating the course to
551community college credit. Any modification must continue to
552provide that the course satisfies the requirements of s.
553402.305(2)(c)(d).
554     Section 9.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (5) of section
555411.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
556     411.01  School readiness programs; early learning
557coalitions.--
558     (5)  CREATION OF EARLY LEARNING COALITIONS.--
559     (d)  Implementation.--
560     1.  An early learning coalition may not implement the
561school readiness program until the coalition is authorized
562through approval of the coalition's school readiness plan by the
563Agency for Workforce Innovation.
564     2.  Each early learning coalition shall develop a plan for
565implementing the school readiness program to meet the
566requirements of this section and the performance standards and
567outcome measures adopted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
568The plan must demonstrate how the program will ensure that each
5693-year-old and 4-year-old child in a publicly funded school
570readiness program receives scheduled activities and instruction
571designed to enhance the age-appropriate progress of the children
572in attaining the performance standards adopted by the Agency for
573Workforce Innovation under subparagraph (4)(d)8. Before
574implementing the school readiness program, the early learning
575coalition must submit the plan to the Agency for Workforce
576Innovation for approval. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may
577approve the plan, reject the plan, or approve the plan with
578conditions. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall review
579school readiness plans at least annually.
580     3.  If the Agency for Workforce Innovation determines
581during the annual review of school readiness plans, or through
582monitoring and performance evaluations conducted under paragraph
583(4)(l), that an early learning coalition has not substantially
584implemented its plan, has not substantially met the performance
585standards and outcome measures adopted by the agency, or has not
586effectively administered the school readiness program or
587Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, the Agency for
588Workforce Innovation may dissolve the coalition and temporarily
589contract with a qualified entity to continue school readiness
590and prekindergarten services in the coalition's county or
591multicounty region until the coalition is reestablished through
592resubmission of a school readiness plan and approval by the
593agency.
594     4.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall adopt
595criteria for the approval of school readiness plans. The
596criteria must be consistent with the performance standards and
597outcome measures adopted by the agency and must require each
598approved plan to include the following minimum standards and
599provisions:
600     a.  A sliding fee scale establishing a copayment for
601parents based upon their ability to pay, which is the same for
602all program providers, to be implemented and reflected in each
603program's budget.
604     b.  A choice of settings and locations in licensed,
605registered, religious-exempt, or school-based programs to be
606provided to parents.
607     c.  Instructional staff who have completed the training
608course as required in s. 402.305(2)(c)(d)1., as well as staff
609who have additional training or credentials as required by the
610Agency for Workforce Innovation. The plan must provide a method
611for assuring the qualifications of all personnel in all program
612settings.
613     d.  Specific eligibility priorities for children within the
614early learning coalition's county or multicounty region in
615accordance with subsection (6).
616     e.  Performance standards and outcome measures adopted by
617the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
618     f.  Payment rates adopted by the early learning coalition
619and approved by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Payment
620rates may not have the effect of limiting parental choice or
621creating standards or levels of services that have not been
622authorized by the Legislature.
623     g.  Systems support services, including a central agency,
624child care resource and referral, eligibility determinations,
625training of providers, and parent support and involvement.
626     h.  Direct enhancement services to families and children.
627System support and direct enhancement services shall be in
628addition to payments for the placement of children in school
629readiness programs.
630     i.  The business organization of the early learning
631coalition, which must include the coalition's articles of
632incorporation and bylaws if the coalition is organized as a
633corporation. If the coalition is not organized as a corporation
634or other business entity, the plan must include the contract
635with a fiscal agent. An early learning coalition may contract
636with other coalitions to achieve efficiency in multicounty
637services, and these contracts may be part of the coalition's
638school readiness plan.
639     j.  Strategies to meet the needs of unique populations,
640such as migrant workers.
641
642As part of the school readiness plan, the early learning
643coalition may request the Governor to apply for a waiver to
644allow the coalition to administer the Head Start Program to
645accomplish the purposes of the school readiness program. If a
646school readiness plan demonstrates that specific statutory goals
647can be achieved more effectively by using procedures that
648require modification of existing rules, policies, or procedures,
649a request for a waiver to the Agency for Workforce Innovation
650may be submitted as part of the plan. Upon review, the Agency
651for Workforce Innovation may grant the proposed modification.
652     5.  Persons with an early childhood teaching certificate
653may provide support and supervision to other staff in the school
654readiness program.
655     6.  An early learning coalition may not implement its
656school readiness plan until it submits the plan to and receives
657approval from the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Once the plan
658is approved, the plan and the services provided under the plan
659shall be controlled by the early learning coalition. The plan
660shall be reviewed and revised as necessary, but at least
661biennially. An early learning coalition may not implement the
662revisions until the coalition submits the revised plan to and
663receives approval from the Agency for Workforce Innovation. If
664the Agency for Workforce Innovation rejects a revised plan, the
665coalition must continue to operate under its prior approved
666plan.
667     7.  Sections 125.901(2)(a)3., 411.221, and 411.232 do not
668apply to an early learning coalition with an approved school
669readiness plan. To facilitate innovative practices and to allow
670the regional establishment of school readiness programs, an
671early learning coalition may apply to the Governor and Cabinet
672for a waiver of, and the Governor and Cabinet may waive, any of
673the provisions of ss. 411.223, 411.232, and 1003.54, if the
674waiver is necessary for implementation of the coalition's school
675readiness plan.
676     8.  Two or more counties may join for purposes of planning
677and implementing a school readiness program.
678     9.  An early learning coalition may, subject to approval by
679the Agency for Workforce Innovation as part of the coalition's
680school readiness plan, receive subsidized child care funds for
681all children eligible for any federal subsidized child care
682program.
683     10.  An early learning coalition may enter into multiparty
684contracts with multicounty service providers in order to meet
685the needs of unique populations such as migrant workers.
686     Section 10.  Paragraphs (c) and (g) of subsection (3) of
687section 1002.55, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
688     1002.55  School-year prekindergarten program delivered by
689private prekindergarten providers.--
690     (3)  To be eligible to deliver the prekindergarten program,
691a private prekindergarten provider must meet each of the
692following requirements:
693     (c)  The private prekindergarten provider must have, for
694each prekindergarten class, at least one prekindergarten
695instructor who meets each of the following requirements:
696     1.  The prekindergarten instructor must hold, at a minimum,
697one of the following credentials:
698     a.  A child development associate credential issued by the
699National Credentialing Program of the Council for Professional
700Recognition; or
701     b.  A credential approved by the Department of Children and
702Family Services as being equivalent to or greater than the
703credential described in sub-subparagraph a.
704
705The Department of Children and Family Services may adopt rules
706under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which provide criteria and
707procedures for approving equivalent credentials under sub-
708subparagraph b.
709     2.  The prekindergarten instructor must successfully
710complete an emergent literacy training course approved by the
711department as meeting or exceeding the minimum standards adopted
712under s. 1002.59. This subparagraph does not apply to a
713prekindergarten instructor who successfully completes approved
714training in early literacy and language development under s.
715402.305(2)(c)(d)5., s. 402.313(6), or s. 402.3131(5) before the
716establishment of one or more emergent literacy training courses
717under s. 1002.59 or April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.
718     (g)  Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, the
719private prekindergarten provider must have a prekindergarten
720director who has a prekindergarten director credential that is
721approved by the department as meeting or exceeding the minimum
722standards adopted under s. 1002.57. Successful completion of a
723child care facility director credential under s.
724402.305(2)(e)(f) before the establishment of the prekindergarten
725director credential under s. 1002.57 or July 1, 2006, whichever
726occurs later, satisfies the requirement for a prekindergarten
727director credential under this paragraph.
728     Section 11.  Subsections (3) and (4) of section 1002.57,
729Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
730     1002.57  Prekindergarten director credential.--
731     (3)  The prekindergarten director credential must meet or
732exceed the requirements of the Department of Children and Family
733Services for the child care facility director credential under
734s. 402.305(2)(e)(f), and successful completion of the
735prekindergarten director credential satisfies these requirements
736for the child care facility director credential.
737     (4)  The department shall, to the maximum extent
738practicable, award credit to a person who successfully completes
739the child care facility director credential under s.
740402.305(2)(e)(f) for those requirements of the prekindergarten
741director credential which are duplicative of requirements for
742the child care facility director credential.
743     Section 12.  Section 1002.59, Florida Statutes, is amended
744to read:
745     1002.59  Emergent literacy training courses.--By April 1,
7462005, the department shall adopt minimum standards for one or
747more training courses in emergent literacy for prekindergarten
748instructors. Each course must comprise 5 clock hours and provide
749instruction in strategies and techniques to address the age-
750appropriate progress of prekindergarten students in developing
751emergent literacy skills, including oral communication,
752knowledge of print and letters, phonemic and phonological
753awareness, and vocabulary and comprehension development. Each
754course must also provide resources containing strategies that
755allow students with disabilities and other special needs to
756derive maximum benefit from the Voluntary Prekindergarten
757Education Program. Successful completion of an emergent literacy
758training course approved under this section satisfies
759requirements for approved training in early literacy and
760language development under ss. 402.305(2)(c)(d)5., 402.313(6),
761and 402.3131(5).
762     Section 13.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
763made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
764reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 402.302, Florida
765Statutes, is reenacted to read:
766     402.302  Definitions.--
767     (3)  "Child care personnel" means all owners, operators,
768employees, and volunteers working in a child care facility. The
769term does not include persons who work in a child care facility
770after hours when children are not present or parents of children
771in Head Start. For purposes of screening, the term includes any
772member, over the age of 12 years, of a child care facility
773operator's family, or person, over the age of 12 years, residing
774with a child care facility operator if the child care facility
775is located in or adjacent to the home of the operator or if the
776family member of, or person residing with, the child care
777facility operator has any direct contact with the children in
778the facility during its hours of operation. Members of the
779operator's family or persons residing with the operator who are
780between the ages of 12 years and 18 years shall not be required
781to be fingerprinted but shall be screened for delinquency
782records. For purposes of screening, the term shall also include
783persons who work in child care programs which provide care for
784children 15 hours or more each week in public or nonpublic
785schools, summer day camps, family day care homes, or those
786programs otherwise exempted under s. 402.316. The term does not
787include public or nonpublic school personnel who are providing
788care during regular school hours, or after hours for activities
789related to a school's program for grades kindergarten through
79012. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for less
791than 40 hours per month is not included in the term "personnel"
792for the purposes of screening and training, provided that the
793volunteer is under direct and constant supervision by persons
794who meet the personnel requirements of s. 402.305(2). Students
795who observe and participate in a child care facility as a part
796of their required coursework shall not be considered child care
797personnel, provided such observation and participation are on an
798intermittent basis and the students are under direct and
799constant supervision of child care personnel.
800     Section 14.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
801made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in
802references thereto, paragraphs (b), (d), and (g) of subsection
803(2) of section 402.3055, Florida Statutes, are reenacted to
804read:
805     402.3055  Child care personnel requirements.--
806     (2)  EXCLUSION FROM OWNING, OPERATING, OR BEING EMPLOYED BY
807A CHILD CARE FACILITY OR OTHER CHILD CARE PROGRAM; HEARINGS
808PROVIDED.--
809     (b)  When the department or the local licensing agency has
810reasonable cause to believe that grounds for denial or
811termination of employment exist, it shall notify, in writing,
812the applicant, licensee, or other child care program and the
813child care personnel affected, stating the specific record which
814indicates noncompliance with the standards in s. 402.305(2).
815     (d)  When a local licensing agency is the agency initiating
816the statement regarding noncompliance of an employee with the
817standards contained in s. 402.305(2), the employee, applicant,
818licensee, or other child care program has 15 days from the time
819of written notification of the agency's finding to make a
820written request for a hearing. If a request for a hearing is not
821received in that time, the permanent employee, applicant,
822licensee, or other child care program is presumed to accept the
823finding.
824     (g)  Refusal on the part of an applicant or licensee to
825dismiss child care personnel who have been found to be in
826noncompliance with personnel standards of s. 402.305(2) shall
827result in automatic denial or revocation of the license in
828addition to any other remedies pursued by the department or
829local licensing agency.
830     Section 15.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
831made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
832reference thereto, section 402.3057, Florida Statutes, is
833reenacted to read:
834     402.3057  Persons not required to be refingerprinted or
835rescreened.--Any provision of law to the contrary
836notwithstanding, human resource personnel who have been
837fingerprinted or screened pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397,
838402, and 409, and teachers and noninstructional personnel who
839have been fingerprinted pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not
840been unemployed for more than 90 days thereafter, and who under
841the penalty of perjury attest to the completion of such
842fingerprinting or screening and to compliance with the
843provisions of this section and the standards for good moral
844character as contained in such provisions as ss. 110.1127(3),
845393.0655(1), 394.457(6), 397.451, 402.305(2), and 409.175(6),
846shall not be required to be refingerprinted or rescreened in
847order to comply with any caretaker screening or fingerprinting
848requirements.
849     Section 16.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
850made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in
851references thereto, paragraph (d) of subsection (3) and
852paragraph (d) of subsection (4) of section 402.308, Florida
853Statutes, are reenacted to read:
854     402.308  Issuance of license.--
855     (3)  STATE ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.--In any county in
856which the department has the authority to issue licenses, the
857following procedures shall be applied:
858     (d)  The department shall issue or renew a license upon
859receipt of the license fee and upon being satisfied that all
860standards required by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A
861license may be issued if all the screening materials have been
862timely submitted; however, a license may not be issued or
863renewed if any of the child care personnel at the applicant
864facility have failed the screening required by ss. 402.305(2)
865and 402.3055.
866     (4)  LOCAL ADMINISTRATION OF LICENSING.--In any county in
867which there is a local licensing agency approved by the
868department, the following procedures shall apply:
869     (d)  The local licensing agency shall issue a license or
870renew a license upon being satisfied that all standards required
871by ss. 402.301-402.319 have been met. A license may be issued or
872renewed if all the screening materials have been timely
873submitted; however, the local licensing agency shall not issue
874or renew a license if any of the child care personnel at the
875applicant facility have failed the screening required by ss.
876402.305(2) and 402.3055.
877     Section 17.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
878made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
879reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 402.313, Florida
880Statutes, is reenacted to read:
881     402.313  Family day care homes.--
882     (3)  Child care personnel in family day care homes shall be
883subject to the applicable screening provisions contained in ss.
884402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of screening in family day
885care homes, the term includes any member over the age of 12
886years of a family day care home operator's family, or persons
887over the age of 12 years residing with the operator in the
888family day care home. Members of the operator's family, or
889persons residing with the operator, who are between the ages of
89012 years and 18 years shall not be required to be fingerprinted,
891but shall be screened for delinquency records.
892     Section 18.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
893made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
894reference thereto, subsection (2) of section 402.3131, Florida
895Statutes, is reenacted to read:
896     402.3131  Large family child care homes.--
897     (2)  Child care personnel in large family child care homes
898shall be subject to the applicable screening provisions
899contained in ss. 402.305(2) and 402.3055. For purposes of
900screening child care personnel in large family child care homes,
901the term "child care personnel" includes any member of a large
902family child care home operator's family 12 years of age or
903older, or any person 12 years of age or older residing with the
904operator in the large family child care home. Members of the
905operator's family, or persons residing with the operator, who
906are between the ages of 12 years and 18 years, inclusive, shall
907not be required to be fingerprinted, but shall be screened for
908delinquency records.
909     Section 19.  For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
910made by this act to section 402.305, Florida Statutes, in a
911reference thereto, section 409.1757, Florida Statutes, is
912reenacted to read:
913     409.1757  Persons not required to be refingerprinted or
914rescreened.--Any provision of law to the contrary
915notwithstanding, human resource personnel who have been
916fingerprinted or screened pursuant to chapters 393, 394, 397,
917402, and this chapter, and teachers who have been fingerprinted
918pursuant to chapter 1012, who have not been unemployed for more
919than 90 days thereafter, and who under the penalty of perjury
920attest to the completion of such fingerprinting or screening and
921to compliance with the provisions of this section and the
922standards for good moral character as contained in such
923provisions as ss. 110.1127(3), 393.0655(1), 394.457(6), 397.451,
924402.305(2), and 409.175(6), shall not be required to be
925refingerprinted or rescreened in order to comply with any
926caretaker screening or fingerprinting requirements.
927     Section 20.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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